Doctor referral services are becoming more plentiful, if that's the right word, these days, particularly in our area with so many new clinics and hospitals opening. When we moved here nearly 30 years ago, a referral service was practically non-existent and we went by personal referrals. Now you can even get ratings and reviews that can be informative and useful.
The hospitals and clinics also send out "welcome" pieces, announcing new practitioners and their specialties. The other day, we received a piece from one of the newest hospitals here that presented the new Chief of Staff and a couple of new specialists, with background information and a brief article by each. It was interesting.
I've noticed, too, that some company health plans have relaxed rules concerning primary care physicians, allowing the plan participants to elect physicians of their own choosing, rather than be restricted to a list (that never seems to be up-to-date). This allows patients to remain with the same providers they've had for some time, rather than list someone they are forced to name but won't see. That was a little game we had to play for a while.