Depending on where you live, you might not have much choice about your doctor – unless you want to travel miles for medical care. Your doctor is one of the most important parts of your life – even if you don’t use them often.
If you have been considering switching doctors, or you need to decide on a specialization like an oncologist or orthopedic, those are important to consider carefully.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right doctor for you or your family.
Some specialists will be renowned in their field, and it might feel like they are the right choice. But often, their waiting lists are long, and you are more likely to see their team members than the doctor themselves.
For general practitioners, seek recommendations from people you know who live nearby. They’ll be able to tell you about their experience and what they like and don’t like.
You can also check online, as many people will express opinions, both good and bad, online, and this can help you better understand the type of doctor they are.
The doctor you want might not be covered on your insurance – and then you have a big decision to make. Often your health care insurance will have a list of doctors in their network that will take your insurance plan. Occasionally you might be able to choose doctors outside of the network if you are willing to pay more towards the treatment.
You can call your insurance company to get a list of possible options; often, these options can be found on the website too. Giving your chosen doctor a call, you can ask some questions about what they accept and if you can come to an agreement.
You will be paying out of pocket for all cases where you don’t have insurance.
Narrow it down
Unless a stand-out option exists, you might have a few options on the list. One thing to consider is how easy or difficult it will be to get to the appointment. For many specialists, travel is part and parcel of selecting them, but if you don’t need to travel, that can be a relief.
If the doctor has a team, consider how likely you will see your dr or the team. If they have a group practice, who else might treat you? Is there anything that makes them stand out?
Do they offer emergency, weekend, or evening appointments? And perhaps the most important – how long is the waiting list for an appointment?
Never feel like you are stuck with the doctor you have, even if you just joined the practice. When you go for the first appointment – if you don’t get the treatment you were hoping for, or you left feeling unheard – just move.
First appointments can give you a lot of insight into how your future treatment looks, and if you aren’t comfortable, then resume the search.
As a parent, you decide on all the most essential care in your child’s life; here are some you need to ensure regularly: 4 Annual Checkups to Keep the Whole Family Healthy – The Unprepared Mommy.