When you care about your health, and that of your family, you want a doctor who cares about you just as much. But looking for a good doctor can be confusing, whether you want a family practitioner, or you need to see a specialist. A doctor isn’t necessarily the right one for you, just because they’re qualified to practice. So how do you find a medical professional who will treat you the way you want to be treated, and make sure you always receive the best care possible? There are lots of things you can do to find the perfect doctor for you, from doing thorough research to checking qualifications.
Like any service, you can use the internet to help you find what you’re looking for. Using a search engine, you can find doctors in your area that work in the specialty that you require. When you have a list, you can see further details for each professional using sites like healthgrades.com. You can look at things like their location, background, accepted insurances, and more. You can also use the internet to see other people’s reviews, but like any online reviews, you might want to take them with a pinch of salt.
Get Personal Recommendations
Most people trust the opinion of their close family and friends, as well as other professionals that they have good experiences with. You can ask friends, family members, and colleagues if they can recommend a good doctor to help you start off your search. If you currently see another doctor and you’re perhaps relocating or looking for a specialist, you can ask them for a recommendation too.
Are They Qualified to Treat You?
When you walk into your potential doctor’s office or treatment room, you might spy a license to practice on the wall and assume that they can treat you. But that isn’t always the case, and it can be difficult to get to the truth. The questions “what can you do with a medical degree?” and “what does licensure allow you to do?” have different answers. For example, someone might be licensed to practice any medicine, but may only be qualified in one particular specialism. What you need to look for is Board certification of the doctor’s specialty, which you can find before your appointment on the relevant board website.
At the Appointment
When you meet them in person, you have a chance to start forming a better opinion of the doctor. Go to your appointment prepared, with lists of any relevant information, such as allergies or medications, and your insurance info. Don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions about the care they will be providing you with, and their experience in the field. You can go with your gut instinct on whether they seem like the right one for you. Consider things like whether they answered your questions clearly and whether you thought they were caring enough for your tastes.