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How Can I Find a Good Doctor?

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.   |   Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 09:46 AM

Question: I’m moving to a new city and need to find a doctor. What’s the best way to check a doctor’s background and record?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Getting a reference from a friend can be the best way to identify a good doctor. But you should also check on his or her license by going to the state or provincial licensing site listing credentials, qualifications, and any adverse actions reported.
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Once your screening reveals correct licensure and qualifications, make an appointment to see your selected doctor face to face. Ask about his or her experience, fellowships, staff appointments, and certifications.
Many doctors now use a physician assistant or nurse practitioner to help with patient management, but you should expect your first visit to be with the physician directly. Your insurance company can provide some guidance for you as far as participation with your insurance goes.
Another source of information is your local hospital physician referral service, which can direct you to a participating physician. When you go to the doctor’s office, chat up the staff so you will get an additional dimension on the type of care you can expect to receive.

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Getting a reference from a friend can be the best way to identify a good doctor, but you should also check on his or her license and background.

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