Finding Dr. Right

4 years ago
For me, one of the toughest things about moving has been having to switch healthcare providers. It's been two years since we moved from suburban Chicago to suburban Nashville and yet I still haven't committed to a primary care physician and an OB-GYN.  My son has his doctor, and so does my husband.  I, on the other hand, have been putting it off for as long as I could, and just praying I would be healthy enough to stay doctor-free.
Why?  Well, my husband insists it's the perfectionist in me, looking for that perfect combination: doctor with excellent patient reviews and within reasonable driving distance.  I suppose you can add that I also need to like how the doctor looks.  'Not creepy' would be a good start, and unfortunately I've found some doctors online who had pictures that totally creeped me out. No amount of stellar ratings would entice me to choose them.  

I'm sure it doesn't help that deep down, I know I'm still having a hard time letting go of my previous doctors in IL who took excellent care of me.  As 'sad' or 'amusing' as this may sound, I miss and adore them.  And yes, they were all very 'easy on the eye'.  
I'm beginning to think that finding a doctor is like dating.

I need to like the way they look, first and foremost.  

And then once you get used to someone and the relationship ends, it's not always easy to move on and replace them, is it?

Ideally (though I've been known to not mind long-distance relationships at all), my doctors also need to be geographically accessible.  I would think twice about choosing a doctor who I would have to drive more than 30 minutes for, and then wait some more at the office before being finally seen. That kind of stress would make me even more sick.  Or impatient and annoyed which would still make me sicker in the end.  So, no thanks.

I also do some research about their background.  I try to see where they graduated from, what sort of expertise they have, medical certifications, as well as accolades.  Good on paper has always been important to me, and no I don't believe in that 'good on paper, bad in (medical) bed' saying.

Oh, and before you get any grandiose ideas about finding the most perfect doctor out there for you who gets all the items on your non-negotiables list checked off, remember that your pool of potential doctors are limited by who's in your health insurance network.  Not every doctor out there is available for you to 'date', sorry to say.

Seeing a new doctor for the first time always causes me anxiety, I suppose the way first (especially 'blind') dates go. Whether it's going to be a male or female doctor doesn't make much difference to me.  I know they will ask a lot of questions, and I would have to reveal a lot of things, and all that isn't always easy.  And who likes being touched or poked by someone you just met?  To make matters worse, I'm also not a fan of taking my clothes off right on the first 'date'! I'm just not that kind of girl!  Unfortunately, much of this is inevitable especially when it involves your gynecologist!

In dating or meeting someone new, there are rules pertaining to just how much you should divulge.  I'm guessing this is why I'm having such a hard time right now sorting through my medical records, the ones from my previous doctors. I know that these records need to be seen by my new doctors.  It would serve me well to let them know of my 'past'. However, how much information is too much information?....especially on your first 'date'?  I don't feel comfortable revealing everything too soon, especially when I'm not sure if this is someone I want to commit to in the long term, if indeed he/she could be 'the one'.  Is it enough to give them the general results of tests done in the past?  Or do I need to let them see my 100+ pages of lab results, doctors' notes and all the skeletons in my closet, this early in the relationship?  If it doesn't work out and I find myself needing to move on again, how do I get all that information back now that I've revealed all of it? Tricky isn't it?

At the end of the day, deep down I know I just need to stop over-analyzing this.  I know I need a doctor.  I really can't do without one and chances are, he/she won't be perfect.  It's all a leap of faith and you just hope and pray you find someone you can trust, someone who can take care of you, and who has your best interest at heart.  If they have all that, I'm sure it won't be difficult for them to grow on you, eventually.  And hopefully, you will live (and not die too early, under their care) happily ever after!

What do you look for in a doctor?  Are you also the 'picky' type?  Any horror 'dating' stories to share?

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