Most people rely on references to find good doctors, including physicians and other specialists. However, it isn’t easy to get to a good doctor in a new place. How will you find a good doctor if you are far from home or have no such personal references who know well about doctors in that place?
There is a ten-step procedure to help you find the right doctor:
1. Specify the type of doctor you need
Based on different causes of disease, various specialists evaluate and treat the same symptom. Suppose you are suffering from back pain. Who should treat you? – A neurosurgeon, an orthopaedist, a rheumatologist, an anaesthesiologist, or a rehab specialist?
It all depends on the cause of the pain. Well, if you are not sure which type of doctor is best suited for you, go for a general physician for consultation and figure out the kind that is best for you. You can also consult an online physician to find out which specialist is best suited for you.
2. Make a list of doctors available in your area
Based on the specialty you require, make a list of doctors using your insurance carrier or online doctor-finder search databases like World Report’s doctor finder directory.
3. Narrow down the doctor-list based on your preferences
Ensure checking doctors’:
- Educational background
- Hospital affiliation(s)
- Years in practice
- Review CV if available (you can mostly find it on the hospital’s website)
- Types of insurance accepted
- Specialty interests
- Check whether they are accepting new patients
- Go through the patient reviews
4. Check the background of your top-choice doctors
- Verify the required board certification
- Check if there’s any negative report and verify a license.
- Check if they have social media presence and according get to know them further.
5. Qualities of a good physician
Make sure you decide for an appointment reminder calls after considering the following qualities:
- Facilities like comfort and cleanliness
- The team with the doctor is courteous, nurses are professional, and other necessities like techs and PA’s are available
- Check the mode of communication- how will you receive the medical records and other related data?
- Punctuality and convenience
6. Be prepared
- Get a list of your medical history and conditions
- Get a list of medications
- Get the contact information for your other providers or physicians
- Get a list of allergies
- Get your insurance information
7. Be clear and ask appropriate questions
- What are the probable risks and benefits of the procedure?
- Are there any alternatives?
- How many such procedures have you performed before?
- Are there and less expensive medicines that can act as substitutes for the current ones?
8 .Trust your gut feeling
- Are you satisfied with the doctor’s explanation?
- Did the doctor care about your queries?
- Are you happy with your doctor?
- Do you trust the doctor for further follow-ups?
9. Second opinion is always helpful.
In case the doctor fails to meet your expectations significantly, look for another doctor. Moreover, to make sure you are on the right path, take a second opinion. You can approach one of his or her peers or consult online.
10. Make sure you recommend good doctors online so that others can also benefit.
The physician ratings available online are reliable, just as the reviewers. Therefore, you can help others locate the right specialists by promoting deserving doctors.