Know when to switch. Changing doctors is a serious decision. Sometimes, the decision to switch is out of necessity. For example, if you or your doctor is moving out of the area, then it may be necessary to find a new doctor. Unfortunately, sometimes negligence or poor performance on behalf of your current doctor may prompt the desire to switch. You should consider finding a new doctor if any of the following occur:
The doctor dismisses your complaints, especially if you’re older. Elderly patients frequently have doctors who overlook or ignore ailments by simply blaming age.
The doctor orders tests or lab work without explaining their reasons.
Your doctor interrupts you frequently and does not interact with you for very long during office visits.
Your doctor prescribes medication or orders surgeries and procedures without knowing your medical history or with little prior discussion
If your doctor has been involved in any medical malpractice allegations, it might be a good idea to switch.
If you have a specific condition, and your doctor is not a specialist in that area, you need to find a new doctor.
Decide what to tell your former doctor, if anything. When switching doctors, you need to decide whether your reasons for leaving are worth explaining.
If you’re leaving your doctor because you were unhappy with his or her services, it’s okay to express this. Doctors do like to keep patients happy and their reputation intact, so feedback may help their performance in the future. However, many people are not comfortable with face-to-face confrontation. You could consider writing a letter and mailing it to your doctor’s office.
If you feel uncomfortable with your current doctor for any reason, it is acceptable to leave without explanation. Doctors are generally busy and may not notice a missing patient, especially if your visits are infrequent
Ask your former doctor for a referral. Sometimes, switching doctors is not a result of a bad relationship between doctor and patient. If you and your doctor are on good terms, there’s no better source to ask for a referral to a new physician than your former doctor.
Chances are your doctor has a colleague in the area that will make a good replacement. Medical schools are wide-reaching communities and physicians often end up with a nation-wide list of references. Even if you are switching due to a big move, your doctor could still help.
As your doctor already knows your medical history, he or she can help you search for a new physician who can cater to your specific needs. In fact, your doctor may actually suggest you transfer to a specialist if they’re having trouble with your particular condition