Use local maps to find a doctor.When you need to find a new optician, or summer camp, or speech therapist, just pick the closest. I'm serious. Type your address into Google Maps or your zip code into your health insurance company's website, and start with whoever is most convenient to your home or work.
Sound undiscerning and blase? Our family moves a lot (five times in the past eleven years), and I have used this method to find countless professionals. I love having what I need close at hand, and who doesn't want to save time and simplify life? Just by going local, I have found armfuls of high-quality and beloved pediatricians, ob-gyns, accountants, yoga studios, lawyers, therapists, internists, eye doctors, and ballet teachers.
Read More: K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, Sister
The thing is, if you ask friends and colleagues for recommendations, you'll find that everyone has different opinions and experiences. One person's guru is another's dud. If you look up reviews, you could spend hours wading through random comments without getting a clear answer. If you go with "the best," you'll pay out the nose for someone who doesn't have time for you. So why not try the easiest first?
If you don't click with him or her, then move on. When I think back on all the professionals we have chosen based on proximity to home, I can only think of one instance in which I had to change due to incompatibility. I hit the jackpot with the second-closest.
Read More: Paging Dr. Gadget: Does Your Doctor Pay More Attention to You or to His iPad?
Besides easing worry over who to pick, the short-distance method means spending less time in the car dealing with traffic and parking. And of course, proximity also translates into less money spent on gas and repairs due to wear-and-tear. If you're lucky enough to find a place that's walkable, you get exercise and fresh air. One more added plus? By going local, you are encouraging the vitality of your own neighborhood. We all want dynamic communities that provide us with the things we need.
Chances are, you too have excellent service providers right around the corner from you. If you want to save time, energy, and money, they're worth checking out. Stay close to home -- you might not ever want to leave.
This article was written by Amy Suardi.
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