I was discussing with another blogger how extremely difficult it can be to find a suitable practitioner.  That is if you can find one at all! A while back when I had finally decided to leave Dr. Asshole, I did exactly what the title of this post says: I went “shopping” for doctors.

It wasn’t simply a matter of finding out who was available and taking new patients.  No. I took it one step further.  I decided to “interview” them.  Really, I did! I came up with 21 questions that I just sent this other blogger and I thought it might make sense to share them with everyone else out there.

Now, bear in mind that this list is a “Personal PA List.”  It was crafted at the time when I was looking for a GP so all the questions may not be applicable to your situation, they may need to be altered or you may even find that you can come up with more of your own.  I will definitely say that the list is not all inclusive.

Also, as a wee caveat, I did include a bit about Internet issues and personal research.  This is good in a general sense as a lot of people do jump the gun and start doing this but people, please, in reading the list do not get too excited or take it as an invitation when “Doctor Shopping.” Please try and refrain from diagnosing yourself using that thar intarweb! Both you and the world do not need more anxiety, misinformation, cyberchondria…  I’m just sayin’…  I do not mean to be condescending, really.

So, here’s the list I came up with–just what popped out of my bean at the time.

1. How long have you been in practice?

2. How do you see the role of the patient in your practice?

3. Do you value a collaborative relationship with your patients (eg. valuing my opinions, open to hearing about research/treatments I am interested in?)

4. How would you feel if I brought medical research/information obtained from the Internet to an appointment for discussion?

5. What made you want to become a GP?

6. What do you think the role of a GP is?

7. Do you have any personal philosophies concerning treatment?

8. How do you keep abreast of the latest in medical research/trends?

9. What are your feelings about antibiotics? Do you have any other feelings regarding the prescription of any other medications?

10. How would you feel if I did not wish to take a certain medication prescribed?

11. Do you have a specialty?

12. What is your affiliated hospital?

13. Can you refer patients to other practitioners outside of your affiliated hospital?

14. What is your policy/are your feelings about giving referrals?

15. What is your availability, appointment wait times and what is your current patient load?

16. How long do you usually spend with a patient?

17. What is your policy with telephone calls, urgent issues/questions if they arise (i.e. will you speak to me over the telephone, call me back if I leave a message or by appointment only?)

18. Who handles your practice during vacations, leaves of absences etc…?

19. What are your office hours? Is this your only location?

20. How do you handle after hours needs?

21. If lab work needs to be done, where are the tests conducted? How quickly are results usually obtained and how will I be notified?

Okay, there are more than 21 questions but 21 points? So, have at it kids.  If it will help you at all with your “Doctor Shopping,” great.


  1. BTC

    Hey, Great post. I did this “interview” technique with therapists a few months back and successfully managed to scare a few off. I believe it can be a useful tool to encourage the process of natural selection ;)


  2. Hi BTC, good to see you. Thank you so much for enjoying the post. That means a lot to me.

    I’m not even sure how I got the idea. I think I was so frustrated with my ex-GP (again, fondly referred to as Dr. Asshole on this blog) that I really wanted to try and find someone I could be as happy as possible with–if that was even possible! I think all of the fighting with Dr. Asshole has scarred me for life!

    Just kidding.

    I had also decided that I wanted a female GP this time around. Although, nothing sexist here, folks! What is most important is that the doctor knows their stuff. However, I had only seen men before so why not make the transition now?

    The list actually was of great value and did, in the end, help me in making the right choice. I just love, love, love my GP! She is the sweetest thing on earth, she can take my med geekiness at face value and not de-value either me or it and we can laugh at just about anything!

    I like your suggestion about “natural selection.” But come on! I love the Darwin Awards! Don’t take them away from me!


  3. Ameroux

    This is excellent, PA! I’ll be using this to interview my new docs. Thanks very much.


  4. Hi Ameroux. Thank you very much. I’m glad you found it useful and good luck with your search. I know how difficult it can be!


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