You may have had the same family practice doctor for a great number of years and just got news that he is about to retire. You are beside yourself and are in a panic mode trying to even fathom who will be able to take his place. Because of the fact that family practice doctors are considered somewhat old school, it is likely this will happen one day.
Your doctor will find someone to take over his family practice that he is confident in and believes has a good bedside manner. He will probably familiarize himself with the new doctor first and have him come to the office during business hours and watch how your doctor conducts business and possibly to see any interaction that the new doctor may have with the patients and staff.
This process will probably begin months or maybe even as much as a year before your doctor’s retirement. You will probably be notified first by a personal letter from your doctor announcing his retirement but it is possible that the first time you hear about it could be from rumor or gossip. You will have plenty of time to make at least one appointment with your doctor before he goes and he will value your opinion on your feelings toward the new doctor.
The nurse staff will probably give you a good heads up too as to whether or not they like him, especially if they do not, as they will get a job somewhere else. If the staff stays it is a sign that you are probably in good shape. Remember, you have been dealing with the staff for a long time so they will at least give you an eye roll if they do not think you will care for him. Trust in your doctor, he is the one who picked him.
Once more before your doctor retires, you should be able to have an opportunity to meet with your doctor while the new doctor is present and speak with both of them. This makes the transaction much smoother. After all, this is a huge transition for you and your doctor understands that.
When it is time to schedule an appointment with the new doctor, you will at least know what to expect. It is certain that the new doctor will do all he can to make your visit comfortable. He will want to go over your chart and see what your past medical history has been. He is now your new family practice doctor, of course he will want to know. Be confident and if you have any apprehension, tell him about it. It may even take a visit or two before you will get to know him and be certain of a choice between stating with the new doctor and perhaps checking out the competition of other family practices in your area.
Chances are that your new doctor has had a chance to scope out any weaknesses that your old doctor had and maybe he corrected them to make the new family practice even better than ever.