Some things can be selected nonchalantly. Which restaurant will you frequent, what color of car do you want, and the list continues. However, your doctor is not one to choose haphazardly. Sometimes, this decision is life and death. There are several things to consider when making this decision. The selection criteria need to show your priorities and needs.
A first tip is to check with your insurance company. Not all doctors accept all insurance plans. You may call or email your insurance company. They should provide a list of doctors near you who accept your insurance. Next, call doctors near you who accept your insurance to verify that they do. Realize that you can call the doctor and “interview” him or her. You will probably have to make an appointment. This process is too important to throw caution to the wind. Do not accept the first doctor you find. Determine if the doctor’s office will file your insurance paperwork for you or if you have to file the claim yourself.
A second tip to find the right doctor can be done on the phone or in person. Find out if the doctor has evening or weekend appointments available. Frequently, this answer is yes. However, you may have to see an associate of his/hers. One doctor cannot work 24 hours each day for 160 hours per week. It is just impossible. Other questions include whether or he/she is accepting new patients. Can he/she treat your medical conditions? How long does it usually take to secure an appointment? Depending on the answers to these questions, you will get a feel for whether this doctor is right for you.
A third tip for selecting the right doctor for is to sit and talk with current and former patients. People will usually be straightforward about their experiences with this doctor. You should take good reviews and bad reviews with “a grain of salt”. Remember they are “third-party reviews”. They might have been blown out of proportion. This applies to good and bad reviews of the practice. Do not let this information decide for you, but file it away in your “store of information” used to analyze the situation.
A fourth tip needs to happen at an appointment with the doctor. See if the doctor’s and your personalities mesh or clash and project how that will influence your healthcare. If you do not want to accept the advice he/she gives you, this doctor may not be the right one for you. Realize, though, that these personality clashes may not arise until “down the road”.
A fifth tip for selecting the right doctor for you. Find one who will not treat you as just another patient. Speeding through the process as quickly as possible to make more money is not conducive to good health care. Make sure good communication has/will happen under his/her care and that your concerns are not just “whisked under the carpet”. Remember that doctors are humans, too, and have different levels of communication skills.
Finding the right doctor does not just happen. It is a choice that requires considerable effort and time. However, the payoff could just be happiness in your healthcare for a long time to come.