When you begin preparing to relocate to a new city, your checklist probably seems ever-growing. Your mind may race with to-dos such as finding a new home, forwarding your mail, stocking up on packing supplies, and more. But what about finding a new primary care provider? Where should this fall on your list of things to do?

Dr. George Bell , a physician at Novant Health Family & Internal Medicine South Brunswick in Carolina Shores, North Carolina, said it’s important not to procrastinate on finding a new primary care provider, just in case an unanticipated illness occurs. “Also, sometimes there isn’t an immediate opening in a primary care office for new patients, and therefore, getting an appointment can be more difficult if the person is not already an established patient with the practice,” he said.

Bell said he sees new patients every month given the ideal location of his clinic. The favorable climate, nearby beach and many activities are attractive to people of all ages, he said. “There’s a steady flow of new people moving to the South Brunswick area,” he added. “It is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.”

Tools at your fingertips

Bell suggested beginning your search for a new primary care provider online. “Using the internet is a good way to research clinics and to see what is available,” he said. “Talking to your new neighbors is another great way to find out about providers in the area.”

Brunswick County has become a popular place for retirees as well. Bell suggested retirees seek out a provider who has experience treating older patients. “Most family practitioners and internal medicine providers have adequate experience in caring for patients over the age of 50,” he said.

Finding comprehensive care

Novant Health Family & Internal Medicine South Brunswick offers comprehensive care, including primary care, immunizations, annual physicals and sports physicals, acute care, minor skin treatments and other preventive, reproductive and child health services. “We also have specialists in urology, ob-gyn and surgeons who come one day per week to see patients on-site,” Bell said. “We have radiology and lab services, in addition to on-site and mobile mammography.”

Bell said the clinic’s goal is to provide a full range of primary care and preventive health services.

And if for some reason you find yourself needing care outside regular clinic office hours, Novant Health Oceanside Family Medicine & Convenient Care in Shallotte has extended weekday hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The clinic is also open on weekends – from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

The convenient care clinic, similar to an urgent care clinic, provides same-day sick appointments for illnesses and injuries like:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Respiratory infections
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Minor burns

The clinic also provides school, sports and employment physicals. You do not have to be a Novant Health patient to use convenient care and appointments are not necessary.