Choosing the right doctor can be a daunting task, especially if you are going to meet a new doctor. We all know that a doctor-patient relationship is quite confidential as doctors are among the few professionals with whom a patient interacts in an open way- and they also have a great influence on their overall well-being. It takes a lot of time to research and ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors, but in the end it is you, who has to choose the doctor that is suitable to your individual needs and situation.
He or she will know your medical history, treatment preferences and everything related to your lifestyle. Not every doctor is the best; therefore it may take some time to choose the right one. Mentioned below are the nine tips that can help you in choosing the right doctor.
- Rely on word of mouth: The first step to find a doctor is by asking recommendations from friends, co-workers, and relatives. Asking for referrals from someone you trust can be of great help in finding a skilled and experienced physician. But keep one thing in mind, that it is not necessary that your priorities should be the same as that of your friend.
- Research background and other related information: The most important factor that you should know is; where the doctor has completed his/her studies or residencies. Colleges are based on research and residencies are based on the type of specialties. If you are suffering from an ailment, you need to be sure that the doctor’s background should match your requirements.
Apart from medical school, doctors hold an additional degree while in practice, and they have an opportunity to be eligible for board certifications in specialties and sub-specialties. You can check with the practice hospitals to know whether the doctor has been subject to any suspension or termination.
- Decide on the expertise: Different types of doctors provide different medical care, so be aware of the doctor’s specialization. General practitioners are responsible for treating different medical conditions but do not specialize in a single form of medicine. Make sure you should ask the doctor about his/her specialties.
If you have multiple medical issues, you may seek help from a geriatrician. Do not overlook your requirements when looking for a doctor.
- Accompany someone along with you: If you are finding it difficult to explain yourself in the clinic or if you face difficulty during a diagnosis, ask a friend or a relative to accompany yourself to the appointments. Getting along a friend for an appointment can remind you the questions you want to ask. Also, an opinion from another person helps you in deciding whether the services offered are at par or not.
- Learn about the location: As you will be visiting the doctor for everyday needs, it is important that he or she should be conveniently located to your place. You should not have to travel far especially when you are not well. Also, if you have access to Medicare Advantage Plan, look whether they offer transport facilities, which can make your daily appointments convenient.
You should ask about working hours, extended office hours and availability on weekends.
- Consider the office amenities: This may not seem much significant to you, but you can consider the waiting room timings, front staff, and other office amenities. Most clinics have wait time policies ensuring that the check-up is done within the scheduled appointment. Also, consider office amenities and personalities of the clinic’s staff, since most of the communication occurs with them.
- Acknowledge your insurance plan: Along with identifying which doctor suits your need, check whether they are covered under your insurance plan or not. Check with your insurance provider or your plan’s website to see whether the doctor accepts your plan’s network. This helps you in avoiding the out-of-the-pocket expenses. But, make sure to confirm this before making an appointment.
- Be sure of what you are looking for: Some people look for free online doctor consultation, while some want to be in the clinic and get done with the appointment. After the first meeting, it is important to know your doctor’s philosophy and to analyze whether you both are on the same page or not. If your doctor’s perspective matches with your preferences, you will be inclined to follow his recommendations in between the appointment only.
Be clear-cut with yourself about your wants and look until you find the right doctor.
- Place a call before scheduling an appointment: Make sure to make a call to get an idea of how the organization works. Through this call, you can inquire about how the clinic handles the prescription and whether they are taking new patients and see how they respond. You can get a lot of idea by the telephonic conversation with the doctor and the staff.
There is nothing is more important than health, and finding the right doctor definitely helps in promoting a healthy life ahead. Choosing the right doctor is a not only a homework but also an investment. By approaching recommendations and taking the help of the internet, you can make a list of the doctors. Before coming to a conclusion, you will require to visit the doctor at least once and speak to him/her about your concerns about making the final decision.