Shopping for a doc

By Kim Libby • Published: May 10th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

People in the lone star state are hooking up. It starts as a casual size-up… no pressure, no strings attached. Sometimes it happens over lunch, or coffee. And if there’s no chemistry, no problem. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

But this scenario is not the modern method of dating. In Texas, it’s become the newest way to find a family doctor.

Doc Shop, an event launched last fall by Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital located near Fort Worth, promotes a newfangled program that allows patients to get to know several doctors, each in a short time period. Potential patients grill physicians as they sit at tables spaced apart to ensure privacy. They ask questions like how long they will have to wait for service, or whether or not the doctor is up-to-date on the most relevant research and clinical trials. That way, if the patient does not like what they hear, they can simply move along.

People of all ages flocked to the event. And even though patients were only able to speak with a doctor for about five minutes, it was a prime opportunity to survey health-care providers in the community.

But, according to an article by the National Institutes of Health, patients have only recently begun to take the reins when it comes to relationships with their doctors. If you’re looking for a new take on your health care, co-workers, family friends and other doctors are good sources of advice. You can also contact a local hospital or medical center or use online resources, such as