There’s something magical about the start of a new year. It’s a fresh slate, a time to clear out the clutter of 2016, to tie off those loose strings, to plan for the future, and to re-evaluate what we’re doing in the here and now. Most of all, it’s a time for change.

There’s a lot of questions you should be asking yourself for the new year. Who do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish? Are there any aspects of your life that you’re unhappy with? You might be surprised by some of the answers. As 2017 begins, we advise that you take this same approach when thinking about your medical life and ask yourself this very important question:

Is your doctor right for you?

This question doesn’t necessarily apply just for your doctor, but rather to every medical center you generally frequent. It could be a diagnostic imaging center like ours, it could be the local emergency room that you always go to, it could be your family physician or a physical therapist that you see. Regardless of how many centers you go to or medical experts you seek care from, it’s crucial to ask yourself whether or not they’re a good fit for you.

Not everyone is looking for the same thing when they pick a center or physician. Some people want a place that is fast. Others want one that’s cheap. Some people are looking for quality. Others want to feel safe. Each and every patient will differ in what they want out of a physician or center, so it’s important when searching to narrow down exactly what you are looking for and evaluate whether or not the person/place you currently go to is meeting those needs.

Like we said, 2016 is a brand new year, and you may decide that the person you were going to in 2015 just won’t cut it for you anymore. Now is the perfect time to evaluate the medical professionals in your life and ask yourself if they’re what’s really right for you.

Here are a few of the top things to consider when looking for a doctor or a medical center:

1)   Price. How much does the cost matter to you? How much or how little are you willing to pay?

2)   Quality. Is it crucial for you to have the highest quality of care, or are you fine with someone in the middle?

3)   Availability/wait time. How much does the wait time or availability of the center/doctor matter to you? Are you someone who will be needing to go to lots of appointments and will be impactedby the waiting time, or is it more likely that you’ll just go once or twice a year and the wait time won’t really matter?

4)   Location. Does your center or doctor need to be super close to where you live, or are you ok with driving half an hour to receive care?

5)   Atmosphere. What is the atmosphere at your center like? Are people friendly? Are they too friendly? Do you prefer a quiet and professional environment, or do you love going somewhere with a more friendly and casual atmosphere?

6)   Personality fit. Do you jive well with your doctor or the people at your medical center? This is someone you’ll be spending time with, so it’s important that you don’t strongly dislike them. Not all personalities mesh well together, and that’s ok! Just make sure you find one that will work with yours.

Each of these are important things to consider when evaluating whether or not your doctor/medical center is right for you. Take some time to prioritize your wants and needs, then act accordingly.