How to Receive Care During a Physician Shortage
We all need to find a new doctor at some point. Here’s how to receive care in the meantime.
At some point, we all need to start the daunting search for a new doctor. Whether your favorite PCP recently retired, or you moved to a new area, or you just want to find another provider, finding a new doctor can be hard.
These challenges are only worsened by the ongoing physician shortage, which is making it nearly impossible for patients in certain communities to find care. “According to new data published today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), the United States could see an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, including shortfalls in both primary and specialty care.”
Even if you are able to find a new doctor, it can often be weeks, if not months, before you can actually get in for an appointment.
What happens when you need care right now? You can’t simply put your health on hold. Instead, you can take steps to find care in the near-term until a new doctor is available to see you long-term.
Here are 4 ways to find care during a physician shortage in 2023:
1. Find a telehealth provider.
Telehealth is an easy and convenient way to find care now, even if there aren’t any doctors in your area who are currently available. If you are looking to treat something immediately and can’t wait for an appointment, telehealth may provide the immediate care you need.
- UTI or bladder infections
- Minor injuries, like a sprained wrist or twisted ankle
- Cold, flu, or COVID symptoms
While these are conditions that must be treated quickly, they don’t necessarily require an in-person visit to your PCP. If you are between providers, telehealth can provide speedy diagnosis and treatment before your next visit.
If you are looking for a convenient and affordable telehealth solution, try MinuteMed from LabFinder. With MinuteMed, you can get a script for your lab test or imaging appointment and review your results with a board-certified physician—all 100% online.
2. Keep up with routine tests.
Many routine care procedures can be done without visiting your PCP, so you can stay on top of your health while waiting to find a new doctor to visit regularly.
Some routine care appointments you may want to schedule include:
Thanks to telehealth solutions like MinuteMed, you can easily and quickly get scripts for these types of appointments, so you don’t need to wait weeks or months to see your new provider and get the care you need.
If you’re looking for an easy and convenient solution to schedule all your lab and imaging appointments, try LabFinder. We make it easy for patients to find the care they need — anywhere, anytime. With 24/7 online scheduling, you can find a lab nearby and in-network, or explore your self-pay options.
No more waiting on hold with your doctor’s recommended lab. Book your lab or imaging appointment instantly with LabFinder.
3. Search the web for providers.
A simple internet search can help you find all the answers you’re looking for; you just need to know where to look.
- Check out your current doctor’s practice website if your doctor is retiring; the practice may have a list of other doctors currently accepting new patients.
- Your local hospital’s website will most likely have listings of doctors in their network, and may have information on who is accepting new patients.
- Search for practices in your area and check their websites to see if they are accepting new patients, or find their contact information to inquire.
- Use LabFinder to find lab and imaging appointments in your area that accept your insurance or offer self-pay options, so you can find care and get in for an appointment sooner.
4. Call and ask for help.
- Ask your family, friends and neighbors if they have a doctor they recommend
- Ask local practices if anyone else is accepting new patients once your doctor retires
- Ask your specialist for a recommendation of nearby doctors
- Ask your local hospital if any doctors are accepting new patients
- Ask your health insurance provider for recommendations on in-network providers
LabFinder can help you quickly find care during a physician shortage. Use our MinuteMed telehealth solution to get scripts for the tests and imaging you need and review your results with a board-certified physician—all 100% online.
LabFinder Editorial Team
The LabFinder Editorial Team is behind The Illuminator and The Insider, LabFinder’s consumer and business blogs.
Dr. Segal is CEO and co-founder of LabFinder, as well as a board-certified cardiologist. He began practicing medicine in 2002 and has founded several businesses, including Medical Offices of Manhattan and Manhattan Cardiology.