Looking for a new doctor can be stressful and time-consuming. However, it is very important to find the right doctor for you and your loved ones. Just like us, doctors have varying personalities and it’s helpful to find a doctor whose personality matches yours. Often times we rely on family or friend recommendations but remember that we all have unique personal preferences and could benefit from doing our own research.
Some tips for finding your perfect fit include:
- Choose three or four doctors that you feel have the credentials you are looking for.
- You can then verify their credentials by using tools such as the AMA DoctorFinder. This resource provides basic information on virtually every licensed doctor in the United States.
- Make appointments to interview a few of the doctors whose credentials checked out.
Questions to consider during the doctor selection process
- When scheduling the appointments was the receptionist friendly, responsive to questions, polite and knowledgeable? How long were you on hold prior to talking to a live person?
- When you arrived at the appointment, was the wait area clean and comfortable? Were you greeted promptly? How long did you wait to see the doctor?
- When meeting the doctor, did she greet you warmly with a smile? Did she seem rushed or distracted? Did she listen to your concerns and questions and provide adequate information?
- What was your general first impression of the doctor? Did you feel comfortable sharing your personal information? Did you feel at ease? Did you feel you could trust this doctor?
- With what hospital is the doctor affiliated? Is this a reputable hospital? Would you want to be admitted to this hospital if needed?
- Is the doctor’s office close to where you live?
Fining a doctor you trust is critical to maintaining a long-term relationship of care. Your doctor should be the one you go to for all your health and medical questions, so it is imperative you value her opinions and suggestions.
Most importantly, you must feel comfortable when talking to the doctor. If you feel intimidated or unsure of yourself in the presence of the prospective doctor you should consider continuing your search. And, always remember that it is wise to get a second opinion prior to beginning any type of treatment. Happy hunting!