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by Abigail Van Buren

Shorter Drive Time Prompts Change in Doctors

DEAR ABBY: I have been with the same doctor for 15 years, only requiring an annual checkup. The problem is, the office is about a 40-minute drive, longer if I hit a rush hour. I have stayed with the provider because the care is so good. However, I recently found a doctor who is 10 minutes away and provides the same quality of care. Do I call the original doctor to let them know I am leaving the practice? Write a note? Leave it alone? What is the proper protocol? -- GOOD PATIENT IN MICHIGAN

DEAR PATIENT: Contact your longtime doctor's office and ask either that your medical records be sent to your new doctor's office, or they be readied for you to pick up so you can deliver them yourself. In light of the fact that you have had a 15-year relationship with "Longtime Doctor," it would be nice if you wrote a letter thanking him/her for taking such good care of you all these years and explain that the commute has become more than you can now handle, which is why you are leaving.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Health & Safety