We all know the scenario well; when one night you sneak out the house and head to your hairdresser for a cut, colour and blow wave only to find out that they are taking leave, or moving on to another career? Your heart sinks and shortly after, terror rises up from the pit of your stomach…..what the hell are you going to do now? Finding a new hairdresser is hard! I mean, where is one to find someone you can trust enough to cut your hair just the way you like or mix your colour just perfectly or style it just so?
So you can only imagine then the panic I felt when I knew it was time to find a new family Doctor! It was something I had been thinking of for a while. There were a few factors that had me pondering a move. Wait time was a big thing, and not just the actual sitting and waiting (which could be anything up to three or four hours) but the wait time to get an appointment was also astounding! It was disappointing to me that when Princess needed to see a Doctor, she couldn’t see ours on a whim…..appointments needed to be made months in advance. And so, a couple of months ago, my hand was forced at an appointment I went to with my sister and the search was on. She wrote about her experience here.
So how’d I go about it and what did I look for? Hopefully some of the tips might help you if you are in the same boat.
First up, I made a list of what I/we wanted, these included things like:
* a dedicated family Doctor, someone who would get to know our family and our health concerns
* preferably a female Doctor, but this was something I was willing to budge on
* a practitioner who had an interest in family health, women’s health and mental health
* someone who takes a holistic approach to medicine
* a clinic where other services were also available
* short wait times
* I also decided I was willing to travel up to twenty minutes (what is twenty minutes of driving when you are currently sitting in a waiting room for three hours!).
Once I had my list, I began the search.
- I spoke to lots of family and friends and asked them if they had a dedicated family doctor, who it was, and why they kept going back to them?
- Then I got online. Any of the recommendations from family and friends that struck a cord with me I searched for. You will find that most clinics now have a dedicated section with photographs of their Practitioners and also a short bio on each. This is where I got lots of info in order to make an informed decision.
- I narrowed down my search to two clinics and three Practitioners that I was drawn to based on my list of wants. I then compared both, what feel did the clinic give, what was their booking system like, did they bulk bill?
- Once I chose and booked an appointment, I decided to keep an open mind. I honestly felt like I was ‘interviewing’ for a new Doctor. I was fine with shopping around if I needed to, I wanted to find someone who we would all be happy with.
So how did I go? What happened next? Well, I decided on a small ‘country’ like clinic. I chose a female doctor who specialises in children, family, women’s and mental health. She takes a holistic approach to medicine, which is a big thing for me. The clinic also has an app where you can make bookings and see availabilities for appointments, this was somewhat crucial is making the decision to book my first ‘interviewing a doctor appointment’ here. It meant that even before booking, I could see what her weekly availability was and whether she was the type of Doctor we could actually see quickly if needed.
We have now been going there for a few months and I am so happy with my decision. Apart from all the factors I’ve already written about, the Doctor (not the nurses), have called the following day and days after that to check in on us in regards to certain health conditions. Caring service right there. I’ve also been able to make appointments with some of the other Doctors, who are all equally amazing and wonderful with the kids.
Have you had a similar experience? Or do you just know the terror of having to find a new hairdresser?