How to Choose a Doctor?
Preferring a new doctor can be a hurdle, especially if you have moved to a new society. Asking for suggestions from co-workers, friends, and compatriots is a good way to start, but eventually, you will have to decide which practitioner is best adequate to your individual requirements and situation.
Your insurance plan may define your choices to a group of plan-approved practitioners or offer monetary incentives to use plan-affiliated consultants. Always check the terms of your Health coverage to find out if the plan will cover doctor visits to the physician you are thinking. If he or she does not compete in your health plan, how much will you spend out-of-pocket on visits to this provider? Does the health plan require a referral from a primary care doctor before you can consult a specialist? If you have switched jobs and must decide among several health plans offered by your company, you may need to make your choice of the doctor first and then choose the health plan that includes visits to this practitioner.
You will further need to decide what type of practitioner you are looking for. Most health plans require you to choose a primary health care provider (a doctor who will guide your overall care and refer you to experts when needed).
In addition, if you have a persistent or disabling ailment you will likely need an expert who explains your distinct health needs.
- Most practicing practitioners in the U.S. are board certified. Primary care doctors
- physicians you would see for conventional ailments such as a cold, the flu, and routine checkups
- maybe board certified in family doctors or constitutional medicine; specialists
- doctors you would see for specific procedures such as a colonoscopy or for a prolonged disease
- have completed residency training in a particular field following graduation from medical institution and have legislated a competency exam in that specialty.
It is also reasonable to find out whether a specialist is in good reputation with state licensing agencies by a Web site run by administrators of several state medical licensure provisions. The site Administrators In Medicine can provide learning about disciplinary lawsuits taken or criminal entries filed against practitioners in many states.
Finally, you may have additional interests when deciding a doctor. These concerns should consider your own needs and preferences.
The following questions can help you to determine further what is most relevant for you:
- Where are the clinic/hospital located?
- Will it be accessible for you to get yonder?
- Is it easy by public transport?
- Is there sufficient parking?
- Which hospital(s) does the specialist use?
- Are you comfortable with the feasibility of being treated at one of these hospitals should the need mount?
- Does your health plan cover care administer at these hospitals?
- Where are conventional X-rays and lab test performed?
- Can these be done at the workplace? or will you have to go to an external laboratory?
- How long must you anticipate for an appointment after you call? Can you be consulted on the same day if you have an instant need?
- Is the facility staff friendly and polite?
- If you call with a problem with your care, does a specialist or nurse return the call quickly?
- Who covers for the consultant when she is away?
- Whom should you call if you have a dilemma after-hours?
- Either the consultant works in a group, are you comfy with being seen by one of the practice associates?
- Does the physician frequently refer patients to specialists or does he/she prefer to manage the preponderance of your care themselves?
- Does the office process coverage claims, or must you pay up-front for assistance and file the requests yourself?
- If you still are not convinced about your decision. Ask if you can make a “meeting” appointment to speak with the doctor about your solicitudes. You may have to pay a co-payment or other charge for this assistance, but it can be a worthy way to gather learning when making your resolution.