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5 Tips to Choose the Right Doctor for You
February 6th, 2009
Choosing the right doctor can be a very important decision for you because he is the one whom you will discuss all your personal health problems with and he is the one that is going to give you medical care. He must be one that you can trust. Deciding on a doctor requires gathering a lot of information and this research may not be possible when you fall ill all of a sudden, so it is better to do so when there is no need and then be prepared. Here are a few tips to help you select the right doctor for you.
1. Decide what type of doctor you need. There are general practitioners and medical specialists. Specialists include gynecologists, pediatricians, general surgeons, cardiologists, neurologists, etc. to name a few. If you are looking for a physician to treat common ailments, a general physician may do, but if you want doctor to treat any specific medical condition, a specialist maybe a better choice. Being clear about your personal preferences (if any), on the gender of the doctor and the language he uses will help you narrow down your search.
2. Check the doctor’s credentials. You can get a word of mouth opinion from your family, friends and people of the locality about their doctor. You could check if the doctor is well qualified, has the required experience, is available at all times, is covered for when he is not available and the hospitals with which he is associated. You can also get relevant information from state medical boards and hospital websites.
3. Fix an acquaintance appointment with the doctor. Though your family and friends rave about a certain doctor, it is very possible that you may not feel comfortable with that doctor. You can fix an appointment with the doctor for a general consultation and assess him and his approach to his profession, first hand. It is very important that you share a good rapport with your doctor; you must be able to communicate well with him. Don’t feel shy to ask him anything you want to know. Make sure he takes time to answer your questions and is patient and friendly.
4. Check out the doctor’s staff and office. During the visit to the hospital, you could also evaluate the doctor’s personnel; see if they are professional and patient-friendly. You may have had an experience of waiting endlessly at the hospital mainly due to the inefficiency of the staff or you may have been treated rudely by some indifferent nurses; now you surely wouldn’t want to go to a doctor with that kind of a team. Also make sure that the doctor’s office is neat and clean. An organized environment can be more inviting than an unorganized one.
5. Find out if the doctor accepts your health insurance. Make sure that the hospital with which your doctor is affiliated accepts your health insurance. You could contact your health plan Customer Service Department regarding the specifics of your plan and the coverage. To make the most of your insurance plan, make sure your doctor is in the health insurance plan’s list of recommended providers. This way you can avoid any unnecessary health care expenses.
I’m sure these tips will help you place the right doctor, now good luck!