When choosing a physician, it is important to find one you trust, with whom you can communicate well, and establish a long-term relationship. Do your research, and don’t assume all doctors are equally skilled.
- Review the list of physicians in your health plan.
- Consider their location as well as their hospital affiliations.
- Check with your state medical board to make sure the physician’s license is valid, and whether he or she has faced any disciplinary action.
- Find out if the physician is board certified, which means the doctor has passed a rigorous exam in his or her specialty.
Other factors to consider are whether the doctor has evening and weekend hours, whether the office leaves time open to schedule same-day appointments for urgent care, whether waiting times are reasonable, and
whether the doctor is in a solo or group practice.
- Find a practitioner who works with your insurance.
- Make sure the physician is the right type of specialist.
- The doctor’s credentials are important (e.g., medical school, fellowship, board certification, continuing education, licensed, etc.).
- A physician’s track record is important.
- Ask how often the physician has done your needed procedure and success rate.
- Hospital affiliation may be a consideration.
- Reputation is important: Ask friends and relatives for recommendations.
- Your doctor’s location may be important to you.
- You may be more comfortable choosing a doctor of one gender.
- Consider a doctor’s age (for longer-term relationships).
- Consider a doctor’s native language or culture.
- A list of articles or research papers the doctor has published.
- Check on the physician’s malpractice record.
Finally, physician practices aren’t comprised of doctors alone. They’re surrounded by others who help them deliver the care you need. From receptionists to billing specialists, to nurses and nurse practitioners or physician assistants, your experience with one doctor will actually be a cumulative experience with the entire health care team.
Source: Digital Insurance