Considering changing your GP is a bit like pondering changing jobs.

People tend to think about it for a long time hoping things improve but they rarely do.

Where possible, it is always best to build a relationship with an experienced doctor who understands your unique health needs and goals.

Sometimes, though, it may be best to just cut ties and start afresh.

There are various reasons that could prompt you to consider changing your GP.

Some are practical, others more emotive.

And sometimes change is forced upon you, like when your long-time trusted GP retires.

Below are the main reasons you should think about changing your GP and most importantly, how to find one!

Why switch to a different doctor?

Quality of care is the most common reason people change GPs. 

If you start to feel as though your medical issues are not being resolved to your satisfaction, it is time to seriously think about changing your GP.

But there are many other reasons which prompt people to change their GP:

Communication this strikes at the very heart of a doctor-patient relationship. If you feel as though your GP is not hearing or listening to you, if they constantly interrupt you, don’t give you the chance to ask questions or barely make eye contact with you, it might be time to go.

Trust once you have lost trust in your GP, it is over. If you do not feel as though you can be honest with your GP about your medical condition for whatever reason, you need to find a new one.

Skill set sometimes your needs change or evolve over time and your GP is no longer the best fit for you. Most GPs have specialised interests or skills and you might need to find one that aligns better with your medical needs.

Booking appointments “I’m sorry, the doctor is not in today”. No GP is on call 24/7 but some are much harder to pin down than others. If you find yours is never around when you need them, maybe it time to think about changing your GP.

Waiting times are you consistently waiting for a long time to see your doctor? If your GP and their practice habitually struggle to stick to their schedule, it might be time to move on.

Location No-one wants to drive halfway across town to see their GP. It may be because you have recently moved house. Or occasionally, a medical practice will close down or move from one site to another. If your GP is too far from your home to make seeing them practical, consider finding one closer to home.

When to switch doctors

Changing to a different GP should not be a knee-jerk reaction.

But there are circumstances when the time becomes ripe to take action.

  • If you have carefully considered your reasons and ensured they are rational and not based on isolated incidents or emotional reactions.
  • If you consistently feel that your medical needs and concerns are no longer being met or heard.
  • If you are moving to a new area and it is no longer convenient to continue to see your regular GP.

How to switch to a different doctor

It is important to find a new GP before you need to schedule an appointment.

Not all GPs and medical clinics take on new patients so you may face several disappointments before being accepted.

If you have decided changing your GP is the only option, here is how to do it.

Research and find a new GP – begin by talking to family, friends and colleagues who live in your area, asking for recommendations. Word of mouth is the best advertisement. You may also search online for GPs in your desired area. But be careful not to rely solely on online reviews.

Schedule an appointment – Assuming you have been accepted by a new clinic, schedule an appointment to meet your new GP. Use the opportunity to have a general discussion about your health. Gauge whether you feel comfortable in their presence and think you can trust them, talking openly and honestly about your concerns.

Transfer medical records If all has gone to plan, it is time to request your previous GP to transfer your medical records to your new GP to ensure continuity of care. This will give them a comprehensive understanding of your medical history.

Communicate your intentions – If you feel comfortable, advise your current GP as to why you are leaving. The feedback could help them become a better doctor.

Complete your transition – With all the paperwork completed and your medical records transferred, it is a good opportunity to book an appointment with your new GP for a comprehensive discussion and check-up. Talk to them about your medical history, current health concerns, medications and ongoing treatments so they are well prepared for your next visit.

Book an appointment

It is not always easy to find a GP you have a great rapport with and trust implicitly.

Sometimes you might need to meet with a few different ones before making the right connection.

That connection allows you to be open and honest about your health problems and concerns.

It is critical to receiving the best possible health care and outcomes.

At AHA Clinics, we are extremely proud of all of the GPs who work from our Seaford clinics.

They are all highly skilled and boast a wide range of qualities and special interests.

But most importantly, they all have those key interpersonal skills that foster great relationships with their patients.

Our GPs really take the time to carefully listen to the concerns of their patients before working with them to suggest appropriate courses of action and if necessary, booking follow-up diagnostics.

As a large practice with two clinics in Seaford, you can choose from many different doctors who align with your health needs and goals.

AHA is also able to accommodate new patients.

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.