Tags: doctor | find | office | responsiveness | hospital | relationship

Doctors Share How They Find a Good Doctor

man and woman in doctor's office, shaking the doctor's hand
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By    |   Thursday, 01 June 2023 02:53 PM EDT

Finding a doctor you like, trust, and feel confident with is a tough task. While the pool of primary care physicians is shrinking, it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure an appointment with the doctors of your choice to guide your medical journey. The first step is to find doctors who accept your insurance policy, and then ask trusted friends and even other doctors in your circle of care for recommendations.

According to Huff Post, doctors themselves have unique insights on how to search for good medical care. Dr. Nate Wood, an internal medicine doctor at Yale Medicine, says the most important factor is that the physician is board certified. While you must have a license to practice medicine in the U.S., you don’t have to be board certified. For example, in researching primary care physicians, make sure the doctors are board certified in either internal or family medicine.

Find someone who treats you like a human being and makes you feel important, advises Dr. John Schumann, the executive director of Oaks Street Health, based in Oklahoma. “You want to feel like they’re not rushed, and they can give you attention, and they can look you in the eye and they can listen,” he says.

Make sure the office staff also treats you well. “If the office staff treats me poorly or like a number that’s not a warm feeling and I might not want to go back to that practice,” Schumann said. Wood agrees. Since you are only seeing that doctor for 15 or 20 minutes it is important that the front desk and nurses are helpful and supportive.

Wood says that it is also critical that your doctor’s office routinely shares information with your local hospital in case you are hospitalized. The attending physicians need important records to better handle care. Ask the front desk how this communication is established. It’s a red flag if they say the hospital can call them and have the information faxed over. There should be an online system in place to expedite the transfer of records.

Schumann says he personally doesn’t like when physicians peddle products. He says he goes to a doctor for advice, counsel, warmth, and treatment — not to be sold supplements or cure-alls. This does not apply to prescriptions for conditions like high blood pressure. Another exception is a product sold by dermatologists that may only be available at that office.

The ability to make timely appointments and have phone calls returned is also an important aspect of the practice. It is harder today since many medical practices are understaffed and patients are catching up on post-COVID-19 appointments. If the doctor’s office does not respond to your needs, it’s time to move on.  Wood says that for an urgent message or serious concern, he would not wait longer than 24 hours to hear from the physician.

Look for a doctor who clearly explains your condition and treatment options, adds Wood. “You want to make sure that they’re good at explaining in language you can understand,” he says.

Remember that asking friends and family for references, and even checking online reviews, doesn’t always deliver the best doctor for you. It’s a highly individualized relationship, but always remember that there is a doctor out there with your best interests at heart. Your search is important and may even save your life.

Lynn C. Allison

Lynn C. Allison, a Newsmax health reporter, is an award-winning medical journalist and author of more than 30 self-help books.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Finding a doctor you like, trust, and feel confident with is a tough task. While the pool of primary care physicians is shrinking, it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure an appointment with the doctors of your choice to guide your medical journey. The first step is...
doctor, find, office, responsiveness, hospital, relationship
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2023-53-01
Thursday, 01 June 2023 02:53 PM
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