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How to Find a New Doctor When You Move Across the Country

Posted in How-to,Moving Tips & Tricks on October 6, 2022

One of the most important things to do when moving across the country is to find new health care providers for you and your family. Moving cross country is a difficult process by itself, and if you are not familiar with how to find a new doctor when you move, there are certain things that everyone should know about and that will help a lot when doing so.

Before finding a doctor in a new city, you have to be fully aware of your health issues and determine which type of specialist is needed. Secondly, you have to get a medical insurance policy first and then start your search for various reasons. Once you have taken care of these two things, an appropriate physician is most often found through recommendations, insurance networks, or other official search tools which are available online.

Find an Insurance Provider Before You Start Thinking About How to Find a New Doctor When You Move

If you have decided to hire a long-distance moving company and its packing services, the first thing you should think about, before relocating to a different state, is finding a suitable health insurance plan. Unfortunately, there is always a possibility of an accident or some sudden illness happening. In the case of an emergency, you will have to visit a physician regardless of whether you have chosen one or not, and that will cost a lot of money.

Therefore, place this issue at the very top of your relocation checklist. Luckily, after you have applied, you will usually receive it in under twenty-four hours, and everything can be done via the official Healthcare.gov website. Here is a useful video that can help you choose the best policy.

YouTube video

When Moving, Don’t Forget to Cancel Your Current Medical Policies and Notify Your Doctor

There will be a lot of authorities to notify about relocation, and before you ask how to find a new doctor after moving, you will first have to contact your current one and announce that you have hired cross-country movers. First of all, this is part of social etiquette, but doctors have to know about relocations as they have to give patients their medical histories, which will help doctors in a different state establish a clear picture of one’s health more efficiently and determine further therapy if needed.

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Determine First What Kind of Health Care You Require, and Then Ask for an Appointment

If you are relocating for the first time, then it is helpful to get all sorts of relocation tips, and here are some concerning the issue in this article. You have to know exactly what you require, and it is not just the question of your well-being – other factors will influence your decision on this as well. Here are the most important things to consider when relocating to a different city and searching for doctors.

Type of specialist required

Of course, the most important thing before planning a move to another city is knowing exactly what type of care you and your family members require. Hopefully, there are no serious medical conditions that require a certain specialist, and in this case, it is important to find a primary care medical practitioner. Basically, primary care means that you will go to this person whenever you feel that a professional opinion is required, and if needed, primary care doctors can refer you to specialists.


If you have hired long-distance movers to relocate you to a big city, the location of the office is sometimes immensely important, especially if you or your loved one has some special needs. Hence, if you are thinking about relocating to NY or some other metropolis, it is wise to check the accessibility of hospitals and other medical institutions in the desired neighborhood.

Type of the medical institution

When relocating to a new home in a big city, you will be able to choose between a hospital and a private practice. They both have their advantages. For patients who have to frequently undergo different tests, need to have access to different medical equipment, or need to see different specialists, hospitals are probably the better choice since everything will be available in one place. However, there are people who prefer establishing closer relationships with their medical practitioners, and smaller offices are then more suitable. Also, there is no denying that schedules are more flexible, and overall, making an appointment at a smaller office is much easier.

Also, Don’t Forget to Include Your Personal Preferences When Searching for Medical Practitioners

If you have to visit a hospital as soon as you arrive at your destination, your adjustment insomnia will be alleviated by knowing that you have chosen doctors that suit your personal preferences. After all, no one likes hospitals, and you would want to make visits as comfortable as they can be. Luckily, as with everything, you can check online reviews about primary medical practitioners and other specialists and then make a decision. Here are some things to think about:

  • Depending on your condition, you might feel more comfortable either with a male or female specialist, and there is no reason to get in an uncomfortable situation.
  • If you opt for smaller private offices, it is important to check working hours since doctors who own their private businesses can make their own schedules.
  • Experience is crucial for some people. Of course, no one is trying to discredit younger physicians, but some people find great reassurance in experience and reputation, especially those who have some uncommon medical condition.
  • Availability of equipment is also important. As mentioned, smaller offices are usually equipped with a narrow range of instruments, and often physicians have to refer you to a different institution if there is a need. Also, some offices will even have to send you to a hospital for lab tests, and this is highly inconvenient for many patients.
  • As mentioned, you can look for reviews about certain private offices. Things like punctuality or accessibility are important factors as well. Hence, you should see whether a particular medical practitioner follows schedules and how much time one spends waiting in the office. Also, see whether the physicians are open to answering your questions and whether they have a friendly relationship with their patients.

Here Are Useful Tips on How to Find Suitable Physicians and Institutions

One of the things to consider when relocating is the fact that not being able to find the right medical practitioners can have a huge influence on the decision on where to live. Hence, you have to start the search on time. Finding the desired people and institutions will certainly decrease the anxiety about relocating. Here are the common methods of solving this issue.

In-network searching

Each and every insurance policy provider covers a certain number of institutions, and after you have chosen a provider, you will want to make sure that the desired medical practitioners or hospitals have a partnership with that company. Hence, if you want to move safely, knowing that your policy will be valid in case of an emergency, it is always best to find suitable specialists and institutions and then search for companies that have established partnerships with them. Fortunately, this information is available online. You just have to enter a certain provider’s website and see the list of institutions and physicians they cover. Otherwise, if you are forced to visit an out-of-network office, a lot of expenses will be incurred, and that will just deepen the relocation depression.


American Medical Association has launched a website called DoctorFinder. It is the largest database of this kind in the US, and all relevant information about most licensed medical practitioners is available. You will be able to learn where they are located, what policies they accept, their experience and educational history, working hours, and contact information.

US News Finder

US News has its own database about medical practitioners available to the public. Although it is not as comprehensive as DoctorFinder, it is extremely convenient, especially if you are relocating at the last minute. You can enter the zip code of the location and the required specialty. The website will automatically generate a list of specialists located in that area. The website also offers additional filters for personal preferences.


Finally, recommendations are always helpful when searching for something in a different city. Hence, be sure to ask the medical practitioner in your hometown to recommend someone. If you are relocating because of a job, there is a good chance that your employer will provide you with a healthcare plan. Sometimes, companies make partnerships with certain private practices, so be sure to check with your employer whether that is the case. Also, if it is urgent, you can always ask your neighbors. These are the best sources of information when it comes to personal preferences.

Ask for the First Appointment on Time, You Can Sometimes Wait for a Reply From a Health Care Provider for a Month

Depending on what type of specialists and institutions you require, keep in mind that the busiest ones will sometimes be unable to make appointments immediately. Hence, if you know that you will require medical assistance from certain specialists as soon as you have unpacked after the move, be sure to contact them before the relocation and see when they are available. It is not uncommon for people to wait a month or two if the situation is not urgent.

A person holding a prescription
Be sure to make an appointment on time when relocating

Visit the Desired Offices in Person Before the Relocation

Finally, the best way to make sure that you are choosing the right physicians is to go to their offices in person to make the necessary arrangements. One of the main house hunting tips is to check the house or apartment before relocating, and if you have decided to do so, it is a great chance to visit medical institutions as well, especially if you or your loved one has some medical conditions. Above all, in this way, you will be able to precisely determine whether a certain office is aligned with your personal preferences, but also confirm whether it has all the needed equipment.

Hopefully, This Article Has Provided You With Much-Needed Navigation to Solving This Important Issue

It is not an uncommon reason to decide to relocate because access to certain medical equipment or help from a specialist is needed. If you are in such a situation, don’t hesitate to move. Health is the most important thing in life. On the other hand, even if there is no immediate need, knowing that you and your family are covered in case some accidents or illness occurs is extremely important when relocating. So before hiring cross-country moving services, make sure to deal with this problem first.

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

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