Tips to find a new doctor

Do your homework and ask questions to find a primary care physician who'll meet your needs.

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Don't wait any longer if you've put off your search for a primary care physician (PCP). The United States is in the midst of a doctor shortage, and demand will continue to outpace supply, suggests the Association of American Medical Colleges. In March, the group projected a shortfall as high as 43,000 PCPs by 2030, fueled by an aging population.

The time to establish a relationship with a PCP is sooner and not later, but not just because you need to stake your claim on a doctor. "There are a lot of things that sneak up on you if you don't go for regular check-ups. For instance, you won't know if your blood pressure is creeping up, or you may not know if it's time to get important cancer screenings," says geriatrician Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

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