Booking your own doctor appointments is one of the worst responsibilities you take on after becoming an adult (next to having to feed yourself every single day). It’s partly because the American healthcare system is in utter disarray. Even with insurance, finding a suitable, in-network provider is a time-consuming, taxing endeavor that’s extremely easy to put off and off and off — which is, obviously, not good! Men already don’t see the doctor as often as they should — we shouldn’t let the system deter the ones who want to.
After moving away from my primary care physician and the rest of my specialty docs nearly a decade ago, I was in need of new healthcare services but wasn’t too sure how to go about it (as I absolutely did not want to cold call various primary care physician, optometrist and therapist offices to inquire about upcoming availability). Luckily someone recommended an online appointment booking service called Zocdoc, and it’s been my go-to for finding doctors ever since.
Zocdoc is a New York-based company that helps consumers find and schedule in-person or telemedicine appointments with a variety of healthcare professionals, including doctors, dentists and therapists. The site helps people find care providers in all 50 states, across over 250 specialties and 18k insurance plans.
One of the main reasons I use the service, and regularly recommend it to others, is because of how surprisingly simple it is to use.
All you have to do is input your insurance information and Zocdoc will find doctors in your area that are, or aren’t, in-network, along with real-time appointment availability. From there, you can book your appointment immediately. That means no annoying phone tag with receptionists. No inquiring whether a provider takes your insurance. No needing to have your calendar open right in front of you. It’s quick, easy and involves not having to speak to anyone. Beyond filtering by insurance, Zocdoc also allows patients to narrow down providers by specialty and location, languages spoken and doctor’s gender. The service also offers the ability to conveniently keep your health information in one place. Here, you can check in online, track appointment history and store insurance card information — a godsend when booking appointments. You’ll never have to go search for your insurance card again.
Additionally, you’ll be able to see doctor reviews left by other patients, another convenient feature of Zocdoc. As many of us know, finding a new physician can be a huge hit or miss, and while patient reviews aren’t foolproof, they can help weed out potential duds or non-fits.
All in all, if you’re in the market for a new doctor and are dreading making an appointment, I’d highly recommend checking out Zocdoc, before you inevitably forget again — and I bet you’ll be shocked to find how painless booking an in-person or telehealth appointment can be. (Psst: This might be a good time to get your eyes checked and spend your FSA/HSA money before the end of the year.)