By Julie Fishman
When you move to a new city and no longer get to visit the same doctor who knew you since your "hairless" days, it can feel pretty daunting to find a new physician...let alone a dermatologist for your newly developed eczema and a physical therapist for your ultimate frisbee injury.
Even if you're lucky enough to get coverage through your employer, finding a doctor can still be tricky—more often than not, someone from HR will sit you down on your first day, hand you a book of 10,000 doctors, and ask you to pick one. Choosing the one that's alphabetically closest to your own name is one approach, but thankfully it doesn't have to be that random. Here are a few simple ways to make an educated choice. Whatever you do, don't delay getting treatment just because you're too lazy to find a doctor, because a minor annoyance can quickly become a major complication.
Skimming the Surface
If you have an insurance provider, the first step should be to visit their website or call to conduct a search for managed care "in-network" doctors who specialize in what you need. More than likely, you'll end up with a laundry list of participating docs that you should narrow down first by location and eventually by skill. Though you can also choose out-of-network doctors, the insurance company will cover a lower percentage of the overall visit. However, when looking for the best care, don’t discount independent doctors; the insurance company may cover enough of the cost for you to wing it, or you may simply have enough on your own to foot the bill without them. Independent doctors aren’t influenced by incentives from drug companies or insurance carriers.
Besides insurance companies, you can also use The American Medical Association and WebMD doctor finder, both searchable by name, specialty, and location. Local publications like New York Magazi...