Whether you are looking for a specialist to take care of your condition or need to make a change in your primary care physician, it is imperative you seek guidance. Most of us either take a referral from our primary care doctor or ask relatives, friends, or use our social network for recommendations. But those doctors that your friends recommend may be perfect for them but not a good fit for you and your condition. So, the question arises, how to find the right doctor for your medical condition? Here are some guidelines that will help you choose the right physician for your medical care.
If you are looking to find a new primary care doctor, you must look for someone you can trust and can establish a long term relationship. Although, if you require a specialist, that will require a different sort of expertise. Look for someone you can communicate well but depending upon the nature of your health condition, the need for a long-term relationship won’t be important enough.
But wait, let me tell you that sometimes the best doctor for you is not a doctor at all. Yes, physician assistants and nurse practitioners could be the health professionals that you require. Naturopaths and other health professionals of complementary and alternative medicine may be the perfect fit for you.
Communication is Essential
Regardless of the type of physician you need, you will want to be sure that you can communicate with him effectively. There should be mutual respect between you and your physician. Many people complain that they don’t understand their doctors and feel as if their doctors don’t listen or give enough time to them.
Sometimes this is because of disregard for patients’ needs and time. Other times there is a reasonable explanation of these types of things. But the crux lies in communication. It is important that both doctors and patients understand each other and can go beyond these hurdles with mutual respect.
One important thing to take care of when you are looking for the right doctor for your medical care is that he works with your medical insurance. Yes, the nature of health insurance is that it changes over time. The relationship between practitioners and insurers often varies. For instance, a doctor may have tied hands with a Company one year and may work with a different company the successive year. So, when you are looking for a doctor to manage your health irrespective if he is a new physician or a specialist, you must ensure that he accepts your insurance or you will have to pay for his services separately which surely won’t come cheap.
To begin with, you must choose the right type of specialist for your condition. A patient with the wrong type of specialist, a physician who focuses on only one body system, can become a hindrance in accurately diagnosing and treating your condition. And not just that, you must also check his credentials. Which medical school did he get his degree from? Did he actually specialize in the service that you require? Is he certified? Is he updated with the research and publications in his field? These are some simple things that you must check before starting your treatment with a doctor. A digital resume also goes a long way in helping you learn a lot about your doctor.
You may think that is it, but no. You must check their track record as well. The amount of experience the doctor has under his belt can be vital in deciding whether he will be able to treat your condition especially if you are having difficulty in diagnosing your condition or the treatment is complicated. You will also want to know the success rate of the doctor. A basic background check goes a long way in trusting your medical practitioner.
Affiliation to a Hospital
Now, this is important! If you believe that you may need to be hospitalized any time during the treatment and have a preference for a hospital and don’t want to fudge, you will want to keep this in mind when you search for a doctor for you. Doctors are affiliated with hospitals so you would want to choose from the pool of doctors that are affiliated with the hospital of your preference. With healthcare reforms gaining ground, doctors are limiting their affiliations. So, you may choose the hospital first and then the doctor for your treatment.
When it comes to choosing the right doctor for your medical needs, you must account for the entire team responsible for taking care of you. Choosing a doctor for you can be a challenge especially if you have moved to a new community. Well, the above guidelines would enable you to gather information effectively and I hope that it will help make your choice a little easier.