What to do When Your Doctor Retires

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on July 24, 2018

You have been going to the same doctor for many, many years. She knows you and has been through a lot with you. Then you find out that she is retiring.

Oh no! How are you going to find another doctor that understands you like she does? It can seem impossible, intimidating and even a little scary to try to find that perfect doctor once again, but it doesn't have to be.

“As physicians we understand that you want personalized care that is customized to your individual needs and goals in the context of your own life," said Mark Greenawald, M.D., a Carilion Clinic Family Medicine provider. “The important thing is to take a proactive approach when finding a new provider.”

Dr. Greenawald suggests following these top ten tips for finding a provider that can handle all of you and your family's health care needs:

1. Ask your retiring provider and his nurse what you should do.

2. If your provider is part of a group, consider one of the group's partners or the clinician who will be replacing your own doctor.

3. Check with your local hospital for physicians that may specialize in the kind of care you need.

4. Talk with your family and friends. Who do they see for care?

5. Check with your insurance company to see what clinicians in the area take your insurance.

6. Obtain a copy of your medical record.

7. Be cautious with online reviews, as they are often very unreliable.

8. Once you find a new provider, bring your records and your medications to your first visit.

9. Ask questions to make sure your new clinician is comfortable managing your specific medical needs.

10. Don’t be afraid to change providers after the first visit or so if the chemistry is not a good fit.

Health care is constantly changing and evolving, but by taking the steps to find the right provider and making sure that you are involved in managing your own health can ensure that you get the kind of care you want and need.