How to Find a Family Doctor When They're Scarce

The search for physicians accepting new patients can be frustrating.

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Finding a family physician who is taking new patients can be really tough, and it's not going to get easier anytime soon.

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Earlier this week, I talked with WTOP Radio about strategies for tracking down those elusive docs.

My biggest surprise: that the American Medical Association's online doctor finder, which is free and doesn't take advertising from doctors, lists all the physicians in a ZIP code, not just the few who are AMA members.

But even with that, it may well take hours on the phone to find a physician who is taking new patients, as I found out when I tried booking an appointment with the list from my insurance company. The best bet: Find that doc now, so you're not out in the cold if you suddenly become sick and need care.