Find a Doctor Who's a Good Fit for You

Find a Doctor Who's a Good Fit for You

Sometimes you know it’s time for a change. But what if that change involves finding a new primary care doctor?

Maybe you’ve moved, and it’s a long drive to your current doctor. Perhaps you don’t feel heard. Or you just think it would be better to find someone new. No matter what the reason, you’re ready to act.

Some change is hard, but this one doesn’t have to be. Here’s where to start.

Take the First Steps

Your first step is to check out Blue Access for MembersSM. Logging in to our secure member website gives you information based on your health plan and network. You can also learn more about your benefits and gain access to member services. There you’ll find your coverage details, access resources and tools, and more.

Once you have logged in to BAM, go to the Find Care to search for network providers in your area. You can use Provider Finder®, which has an easy-to-use guide to help you choose the best network doctor for your needs. It also lets you to look for a doctor by medical specialty, ZIP code and gender.

Remember, if you visit a doctor who is not in your network, you may have to pay more for your care. Sometimes, you may have to pay the full cost.

If your health plan is an HMO, there may be special steps for changing doctors. Check your benefits book or call the customer service number on your member ID card if you have questions.

Don’t Wait

Don’t wait until you are sick to find a personal doctor. That might be an internal medicine doctor or one in family practice. For a woman, it might be an OB-GYN. Or you can select a pediatrician for your child.

Remember to visit your primary care doctor for routine care. You may save money by seeing your regular doctor for the flu, minor aches and sprains, and other health issues instead of going to an urgent care clinic or emergency room (ER).

There are times when using a walk-in retail health clinic or urgent care center is a good choice. Make sure you only use the ER when there’s an emergency.

Start Building

Once you’ve picked your new doctor, help your doctor give you the best care by always being open and honest. Asking questions also improves the quality of care you receive. Ask about recommended tests and treatments. Ask questions any time you don’t understand something.

One way to build a relationship with your doctor is to schedule a yearly exam. That’s the time to talk to your doctor about your health, risk factors and family medical history to find out what health screenings you need each year. Getting the right preventive health services, screenings and treatments improves your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Build a Relationship with Your Doctor. Your Body Will Thank You

There are benefits to regularly seeing the same doctor. The more your doctor knows about you, the better your care will be. Open communication is easier with someone you know.

How to Choose
When you’re ready to select a doctor, first narrow your choices. Then research the doctors you’re thinking about online or call doctors’ offices to get more information. Be sure to choose a provider who is in your network.

Here are some questions the American Academy of Family Physicians leaving site icon suggests you ask:

  • Do they take your insurance?
  • Do they take new patients?
  • What are office hours?
  • Do they have on-call hours?
  • How long does it take to get an appointment with the doctor?
  • What hospital does the doctor use?
  • How many doctors are in the practice?
  • Do they do lab tests in the office?

When you find a doctor you want to check out, make an appointment and prepare for the visit. The doctor will need to know your health history and the medicines you take. And tell the doctor about upcoming events that could affect your health, such as travel.

After your first appointment, think about your visit. Were you comfortable with the doctor and the office staff? Did they answer your questions? If you feel good about the visit, you may have found your new doctor.

Sources: Are You Up to Date on Your Preventive Care?, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023; Patient Rights, leaving site icon American Medical Association; Choosing a Family Doctor, leaving site icon, 2022; Talking to Your Doctor, leaving site icon National Institutes of Health, 2023

Originally published 12/30/20219; Revised 2024