Finding Doctor Right

Living in a small town on the water in Connecticut not too many things have changed from my father’s time, or for that matter, from his father’s time . . . Well, we have better cars, better communication technology, etc., but the one thing that still remains steadfastly the same is how most of my town’s residents go about locating a personal physician –word of mouth.

Apologies to my fellow New Englanders, but that is not such a good way to handle your health care anymore, especially with the many specialists that are out there practicing their profession. With the Internet (i.e., Google) there is no reason at all for not being completely on top of locating the best suited physician for your particular needs.

Here are some tips on how to best handle such a selection:

Simple Questions

  • Is the doctor’s location right for me?
  • Will I prefer working with a man or a woman?
  • Will the age of the physician be a factor in my decision?
  • Am I looking for a Western Medicine or Eastern (alternative) Medicine trained person?
  • Is the doctor’s support staff to my liking and well trained?
  • Does this doctor accept my insurance program?
  • What hospital is the physician affiliated with?
  • How well did the physician communicate with me during my initial consultation?

Specific Questions

  • What are the physician’s academic credentials (medical school, board certified, fellowships, etc.)?
  • How specific is his/her training in the area you are seeking a referral?
  • Has this particular physician been sued or are there any other “black marks” against his/her license (contact the Public Citizens Health research Group or your county court house)?
  • How many patients does this doctor book per hour?
  • Do they handle all testing (blood work, MRI, x-rays, etc) within their office?
  • If this physician is a specialist, does he/she work with your primary physician?

When it comes to choosing a physician, being a “wall flower” will just not suffice … You must speak your mind, ask questions, and increase your knowledge of your medical situation to get the best medical help available.

Write down questions, keep good records of every meeting, and use the tools (i.e., Internet) to do research on any ailment you may be seeking treatment for. Finding the “right” doctor is the first step in developing a relationship that may help you enjoy a long and healthy life.

 

Written by Jeffrey Johnson

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