Let’s face it: healthcare is complicated, intimidating, and expensive. Nobody wants to make the wrong choices when selecting a primary care physician, choosing a surgeon or committing to a costly procedure. As such, the level of trust that exists between you and your doctor must be unquestioning, as must be their level of skill and professionalism.
Given restrictions on insurance networks, complex medical jargon and an array of sly marketing techniques used by healthcare institutions, knowing whom to trust can feel overwhelming.
Fortunately, we’re here to provide four great tips that you should put to the test when finding the best doctor for your exact needs.
Ask for a Show of Hands
The first step in finding a good doctor is to ask within your social circles. Healthcare is universal, and there’s a good chance that somebody you know has already had a similar procedure or has one or more experiences with primary care physicians. In some cases, the experiences will be positive; negative in others. Gather as much information as you can from people you know and trust: these will be the first indicators of where to begin (or where to avoid).
People love sharing their doctor experiences, so don’t be afraid to ask around!
See What Others Are Saying
Gauging how your family members, friends and co-workers feel about various doctors is crucial, but so is hearing what the broader community has to say. In this age, no doctor can get away with shoddy service or a bad demeanor for very long without a digital set of footprints following them.
Numerous online doctor review platforms exist to help patients determine who is best suited for their exact needs, and who may have a history of providing subpar healthcare. Everything from a cold personality to medical malpractice cases can be found via the internet (Feel like you’ve suffered from medical malpractice? Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in your area immediately).
Filter Based on Personal Preferences
An important part of a strong doctor-patient bond is your own demeanor. If you feel uncomfortable with a particular physician, irritated from the logistical hoops a specific doctor makes you jump through or exhausted because you’re driving 90 minutes one way to see them, then this can affect the relationship.
It’s important to consider a doctor who meets your preferences, whether that be a medical sensitivity to cultural or religious beliefs, proximity to your home or being from a common generation. Use these criteria and others to guide you toward a doctor who is both skilled and in line with your preferences.
Make Unsolicited Contact
Last but not least, reaching out to a doctor’s office without prior warning can give you plenty of insight into how the establishment (and, therefore, the doctor) operates.
Whether it be through an in-person visit or a phone call, you can gauge a lot about how the doctor’s office functions. Likewise, you’ll be able to ask several questions that’ll further narrow down your potential choices, such as how they handle refills, what methods of contact with the doctor are available and whether the office provides reminders for appointments, annual check-ups, and other criteria.
While it’s impossible to verify everything about a doctor’s personality, skill, and methods of operation without seeing them in-person, you can drastically narrow down the potential choices via the above advice. By making impromptu contact, asking people you know for recommendations, scouring the internet for reviews and factoring in your personal preferences, you’ll be much more likely to find a great doctor and build a meaningful relationship with them.