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Finding/starting with a new doctor.......
Old 12-05-2019, 10:26 PM   #1
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Finding/starting with a new doctor.......

The doctor I had for just the last couple years is moving to a different medical group. Still somewhat local and accessible if I want. I received communication from the group she WAS with suggesting staying with their group and choosing a new practitioner. The doctor I had was okay. Young, decent manner, took time. Okay, but nothing spectacular. Is this a chance for me to look at someone else for my health related questions and stay with the group I had?

An issue we are seeing here in our area is less and less M.D.s. What some might call 'real doctors'. Many clinics are staffed by ARNPs....advanced register nurse practitioner, and DNPs...doctors of nursing practice.

I don't have a problem with a DNP. They can probably handle my sinus issue, or headache, or sore throat. Many of the MDs send you out to someone more specialized if there is a major concern anyhow....cancer, heart, bone deterioration.

What do I need to be considering in my decision? I guess if I'm not happy with my choice, I'm not permanently attached to it. On the other hand, at my age I'd rather not be jumping from one caregiver to another too often.

Thoughts, suggestions, or past experiences ??
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:47 PM   #2
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I recently moved to a new area last year so had to find a new doctor. I made my decision based upon a couple of primary factors. One was location. We have a lot of doctors in the area so I felt I had a lot of choices nearby and I didn't want someone a long way away. I basically wanted it someone with roughly 15 minutes. I also went on Nextdoor and some other local sources and looked at recommendations other people had given. I was soon to on Medicare so it needed to be someone who took traditional Medicare. One of the doctors recommended was located 2 minutes from my house. I can walk there in less than 5 minutes. So that was a plus. I read carefully what some people said about this doctor and then went to various review sites. I Googled him and looked at his licensing, the normal stuff to do a basic check out. I felt it was worth a check.

My own belief is that for me without many serious health issues, is not that important as compared to any specialist I might need. I typically see a doctor a couple of times a year so someone who is available and is up to date on treatments and preventative care works for me. If I was someone who needed to go to the doctor every month I might feel differently or if I had a difficult to manage chronic disease.

I have pondered maybe changing doctors. I do like this doctor. He is very up to date and is careful about recommending preventative care. He is obviously very convenient. Something that is important as I get older and may want to drive less. He is middle aged and younger than me so should be around for awhile.

The negatives:

1. He pushes Medicare Advantage quite a bit. I explained why I don't like it and he hasn't brought it up lately so if he doesn't then it may be OK.

2. He is a one man office. That is fine in many ways. However, his office closes every day at mid-day, there are no weekend hours, and if he is out of town there isn't someone else in the office who can see me if I needed someone. Since I don't typically need care very quickly none of that bothers me, but it might bother me if I had health conditions where I needed stuff at times more urgently.

In my area, most of the offices do have physicians although in this area it is very common that many doctors are D.O.s rather than M.D.s.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:05 AM   #3
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The future of healthcare is going to be in the hands of Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants. The government payback on Medicare and Medicaid for many doctors and testing is rather dismal--especially to doctors not in big cities. And many patients don't realize that doctors often have 50% expense ratio (of gross income) going to cover their office overhead--salaries, rent, etc.

Fewer and fewer people want to spend until they're 30 years old in medical school running up $100,000's in student loans only to be repaid the measly amounts governments and some insurance companies want to pay. And few doctors have the specialties that pay the big $--like nephrologists with dialysis centers and certain surgeons.

My doctor refuses to see anyone on Medicaid, and he's hesitant to take on new patients on Medicare unless they have a good insurance supplement.

You'll probably want to check out the other M.D.'s in the practice to see if you're comfortable with them. If not, move on to another medical practice.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:32 AM   #4
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I've been pondering a switch to a new PCP. Been with my current doctor for +20 years but have had very little interaction with him except for yearly physicals. The last few years I've had a medical intern do the physical and every year it's someone different so not much consistency. About the only thing they have been consistent at is screwing up the coding for my lab test so that the insurance company refuses to pay it because it's not coded as preventative. Not a big dollar amount, almost not worth the time I spend working with the doctors office afterwards to straighten it out, would seem like a fairly simple thing to get right especially since I remind them every time.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:57 AM   #5
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With all of my ailments, I see 3 specialists on a quarterly basis, so trying to keep a family practice doctor (FPD) in the loop on all the changes to treatments, and RXs was becoming tiring. We were forced to change FPD 3 different times in the same building from personnel changes, and have to give a detailed medical history to each one of them. The final one, we could not get him to understand my situation, while he wanted to change everything that had been working for me, and wouldn't listen to anything I had to say, because HE was the doctor !

My oncologist is now my FPD, and she will listen to me and handle cold/flu issues as well.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:11 AM   #6
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After moving we "lost" our doctors. Both were set up in a local hospital with a female doctor. About 6 months in I complained about my T level as I'd been treated for several years prior. After testing I was told my levels were fine, must be in your head. After a year I discovered my levels weren't fine, I was misinformed. I learned she didn't believe in hormone treatment but didn't bother telling anyone.

After another year of nonsense from this doctor I became done. I met a local who had been an EMT and he gave me some great references. I met another female PCP and she's awesome.

My point is don't trust just anyone. Years ago my buddies wife bleed to death from having a tubal ligation. Her doctor testified he wasn't familiar with the female anatomy, but still operated on one. After her death he simply moved to another state and all was well. When I see signs of bs, I start looking and asking questions.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:57 AM   #7
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Momcpa, at least it sounds like you have some options on your physician choice. I am not finding many options. When I retired and moved to the place where I live now I had trouble finding any doctor that was taking new patients. I bet I called half a dozen medical practices before I could find someone taking new patients. I am not really satisfied with the practice I am in now--the doctor is Ok (not great) and the billing department has screwed up billing codes over and over again. But I have not been able to find another decent practice to go to. I recently had a foot problem and asked my doctor for a referral to a podiatrist--the first appointment my doctor's office found me was 5 months away! I called around on my own and got into see a different podiatrist in a month.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:06 PM   #8
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Uggh...just moved and had to get a new doctor. DW and I are healthy so I didn't have many concerns. I waited for 45 minutes in the waiting room and finally met the new doctor. She talked mostly about herself and took my paperwork and said Ill see u in 30 days. I asked how many patients she sees daily and the answer was 40! Needless to say I did the quick math and realized this could not be good for building a relationship with your doctor. Ill give it a few more visits but am afraid i might have to look elsewhere or try and get my services in the 12 minute window.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
The future of healthcare is going to be in the hands of Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants.
I agree that this trend will continue. I suspect many people will be upset, but not me.

It's one of the few positive steps addressing the out-of-control expense of medical care in the USA.

I am perfectly comfortable that the vast majority of my complaints (and everybody else's) are well within the training and skill of NPs and PAs to diagnose and treat: sore throat, swimmer's ear, pulled muscles, etc. If they can't figure out what's wrong, they'll refer me to someone else which is what MDs and DOs do all the time.

From an industrial engineering perspective, the more routine patients who can be handled without needing a specialist, the more efficient the process and the more likely the specialist will be freed up to see me quickly when I really need her.

And I've seen plenty of MDs who are just in the wrong business. There's nothing magical about the title "Doctor" that gives somebody listening skills or empathy. I have yet to encounter a PA or NP who didn't have those attributes.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:06 AM   #10
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There was a period of time when we moved a few years ago that I didn't have a primary care doctor for a few years. Technically, the "old" one was still my doctor but he was an hour and a half away so I wasn't eager to go there. I found myself going to urgent care when things came up. At the time I had no ongoing medical concerns for a primary care doctor so I was only going to the doctor when I suddenly got sick. And, when that happened I wanted to see someone right away. Otherwise, I did see an allergist regularly for allergies and would have an annual gynecology visit. Now I do take one prescription on an ongoing basis and the doctor does that but I don't really think it needs an M.D. really.
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:57 AM   #11
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We moved last month, and thankfully we're just over an hour away from our current doctors. We will eventually have to move to another PCD, but it took a couple of years for the current physician to learn our ailments and to have faith in what we're telling them.

We're 65 minutes from my wife's Pain Management clinic, and they continue to wean her off opioids by about 50%. I see my Diabetic doctor every quarter, so a change is not warranted there and he covers all my meds.

I'm just thankful that quality healthcare is available in both our new and old communities. And we're 2 hours from two large cities with incredible hospitals where any condition can be treated.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:48 AM   #12
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IMHO, good doctors are the luck of the draw. One never knows, even if a Dr. is highly recommended, that does not mean they're good. Countless stories over my lifetime (I have a big family, both sides and have had more than most medical issues).
A few examples:
In 6th grade, had a compound leg fracture, horrible skiing accident, in a tiny town in Wisconsin. Many hospital patients were stuck in the hallways on roll away beds. I had major surgery at that hospital. Never had a back, knee, ankle or hip issue from that surgery. My leg is fine, just slightly shorter due to 6 month cast. My DB's have had multiple hip and knee replacements over the years. I'm 62.



Dear cousin, DX with Parkinson's disease. Went to the top Parkinson's specialist in St. Louis at Barnes Hospital. Very well known. He had her on the wrong meds and dosage for over a year. She suffered horribly until Mayo Clinic straightened out her meds and dosages. That highly recommended Dr., no where to be found to this day. Multiple lawsuits against him.


Dr. I loved and trusted, wonderful personality, warm and empathetic. She was the head of gynecology at Elmhurst Hospital (Chicago suburb). When it came time for a major surgery for me, a friend at work said her sister was a secretary for a malpractice law firm. She suggested I check into her background and history to be on the safe side. The Dr would be unaware of the background check. Multiple malpractice suits going on from her practice. At that time, in the 90's these things were not published to the public.



Hate to be a Debbie Downer. I just don't judge or expect much from a Dr until I'm looking in the rear view mirror. One can never tell.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:51 AM   #13
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Having moved in May, we had to find new PCPs. I will keep my existing specialists for the time being. My husband found one PCP he is happy with so I will try him out too. While I've had generally good results when seeing a non-doctor healthcare practitioner, there was one instance where the non-doctor and a nurse could not figure out what my problem might be and so called in an MD from elsewhere in the practice. He immediately made the proper diagnosis and referral to an appropriate specialist. FWIW, I've had both MDs and DOs for PCPs and all have been good. Our new PCP is a DO as was my last one who spent plenty of time hearing me out and explaining things. Hopefully the new one will be similar.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:38 PM   #14
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My doctor refuses to see anyone on Medicaid, and he's hesitant to take on new patients on Medicare unless they have a good insurance supplement.
I wonder what you mean by a "good" insurance supplement? What criteria would your doc use to evaluate your supplement to determine if he is going to take you on as a patient or not?
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:45 PM   #15
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FWIW, I've had both MDs and DOs for PCPs and all have been good. Our new PCP is a DO as was my last one who spent plenty of time hearing me out and explaining things.
DW and I have had the same DO as our PCP for over 30 years and are quite pleased with him. We like his holistic approach to our overall health, his skill at initial diagnosis of problems and the fact he is well connected with specialists and works closely with them when we have needed referrals. And in cases where we've sought out a specialist on our own, he'll call and touch bases with that specialist at our request.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:54 PM   #16
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I saw a NP for about 5 years and had no problem going that route. But last year I had a few funky things going on and found a GP to see and I have been pleased with him. At this point I feel I might as well stick with him. I may use the NP for cold/flu as she is easy to get in and see. Easy on the eyes too and that's important when you're feeling bad
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #17
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Another acronym new to me (maybe others?): D. O. It appears to be “doctor of osteopathic medicine”. A Google search turned up an explanation that these physicians regard the body as an integrated whole. The approach sounds interesting.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:07 PM   #18
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Another acronym new to me (maybe others?): D. O. It appears to be “doctor of osteopathic medicine”. A Google search turned up an explanation that these physicians regard the body as an integrated whole. The approach sounds interesting.
Interesting yes. Just don't try one out if you are having severe pain.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:14 PM   #19
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Interesting yes. Just don't try one out if you are having severe pain.
Calling "bullsh*t" on ya there MRG.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:51 PM   #20
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Another acronym new to me (maybe others?): D. O. It appears to be “doctor of osteopathic medicine”. A Google search turned up an explanation that these physicians regard the body as an integrated whole. The approach sounds interesting.
In the distant past, many D.O.'s used manipulation techniques similar to chiropractors. But the D.O.'s I've had experience with would be hard to distinguish from an M.D. D.O.'s can be specialists too: the orthopedic surgeon who performed a trigger finger release procedure on me is a D.O.
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