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Trying to make a doctor's appointment when you're sick, in pain or short on time can be an aggravating process, so in 2007, ZocDoc debuted its web-based appointment system that allows users to schedule a visit when its convenient for them. Back in November, ZocDoc — Doctor Appointments Online! hit the App Store, but since the service is still growing, it's not surprising that ZocDoc isn't a household name yet.
Doctors are required to opt-in to the service, so it's possible that the app won't find any near your home. ZocDoc does have wider databases of participating doctors — from dentists to GPs to physical therapists — in the cities that offer in-app appointment booking, currently available in New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. But that doesn't mean the app is truly comprehensive. I searched Chicago practitioners for a variety of specialties — users can pinpoint the type of doctor they're looking for and the reason for the appointment — but the app came up with limited results for cardiologists and nephrologists, and offered no results for psychiatry.
Patients can also specify what day and time they'd like to make an appointment. Results will show tappable times available for a specific doctor, or the next available time if the practitioner is booked. To make an appointment, users will need to create a profile and specify if they will be paying out of pocket or using insurance. Once you create your ZocDoc account, you can track your appointments in-app.
Users with accounts can also leave ratings and reviews in-app. Every result displays a star-rating, and the app provides professional information for each doctor, including a professional statement, education, hospital affiliations, certifications and awards. The only reviews included in the app are from other ZocDoc users, and doctors must confirm that the patient actually attended the appointment to help guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.
I'd prefer that ZocDoc — Doctor Appointments Online! offer more search filters, such as by language, gender or even name, but I have high hopes for the service's expansion nationwide.