In the same way aging is a part of life, so is keeping up your health. Whether your regular doctor has retired, you’ve moved to a new area, or you need additional doctors to treat specific conditions, there are some helpful questions to pose to a new doctor as a senior citizen. Read on to find out how to evaluate your new physician.
“WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND?”
It’s never a bad idea to get a sense of how your doctor ended up where they are. Ask them up about their college years and what drew them to medicine. Find out if they’re board certified or their opinion on the doctor-patient relationship. In addition to inquiring about their educational background, you can find out more about their areas of specialty. You may find a sense of comfort knowing that your current physician spent time working in the ER.
“HOW WILL THIS FIT INTO MY CURRENT CARE PLANS?”
If this new doctor is a specialist, it’s important to understand how their treatment will integrate with the care you currently receive. Will you still see your primary care doctor, or are they taking over? Do they communicate or confer with your other doctors? Are there any interactions – either from medications or treatments – that you should be aware of? They’ve undoubtedly been briefed on your care up to this point, so don’t hesitate to ask they provide a clearer picture of how their care will impact your day-to-day life.
“AM I ON THE RIGHT MEDICATIONS?”
When we think of doctors prescribing medications, we generally imagine these decisions as infallible. However, mistakes do happen. According to studies, preventable medication errors affect 7 million patients each year. Even if a prescription doesn’t lead to adverse effects, there may be better options that exist for a specific condition or set of illnesses. It never hurts to ask for a second opinion, especially when your health and healthcare are changing.
“WHAT ARE YOUR OFFICE POLICIES?”
No one likes waiting around at the doctor’s office. These delays are not only irritating, but they can cause serious concerns about the physician’s dedication or attention. A new study found that 1 out 5 patients have switched doctors due to long wait times, and the same research showed that 30% of patients have actually physically left an appointment after being stuck in the waiting or exam room. It’s helpful to understand the setup of a new doctor’s office.
Some specific questions to ask are:
All these questions will help to set a reasonable expectation for your visits.
In younger years, heading to the doctor was usually reserved for being sick. But as we grow into those all-important golden years, healthcare becomes not a luxury but a necessity. If you’re preparing to see a new doctor or begin a search for a better one, keeping these five questions handy can be helpful in making sure you find the best care possible.
Case Study: Dave and Joyce bought life insurance when they were younger to protect their childrens’ futures. Joyce lost her battle with cancer last year and the kids are all grown. Dave no longer needs his coverage. Dave’s investment advisor told him he could sell his unwanted life insurance policy for an immediate cash payment. Dave sold his life insurance policy and used the proceeds to pay off medical bills and check off a few boxes on his bucket list.