Modern health care features countless specialties and practitioners. The ability of patients to get custom care for their exact condition is greater than ever before. There are even sub-specialties recognized today; you may not just need a cardiologist, you may need one that specializes in the electrical functions of the heart.
There is really only one problem with this arrangement: Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to find the right doctor for your needs. A quick look at the directory of staff at any hospital will yield a surprisingly long list of physicians working in an incredible number of areas.
With so many potential caregivers, the process of identifying and reaching the correct specialist can be overwhelming, especially in a large city. To make things simpler and faster, consider these methods for locating the best doctor for what you need.
Start With the Hospital
Every doctor is affiliated with at least one hospital. When a medical condition emerges, you’ll probably visit your primary care provider. If he or she determines that you need specialized care, ask for a recommendation. Find out what practitioners at your doctor’s hospital may be able to help you with your condition.
For example, if your back hurts and your doctor recommends a spine specialist, find out what clinics or doctors within your primary care physician’s hospital provide this type of care. This will not only help you sift through a long list of names rather quickly, it will also streamline communication with your primary provider and possibly even reduce potential problems with your insurance.
Notice the Details
When you can’t get a short list directly from your doctor, you can still eliminate many of unsuitable options fairly quickly. There are some things you should check out with each doctor you consider, and those who don’t meet your needs can be crossed off the list.
Remember that a doctor’s specialty isn’t enough to make him or her the right practitioner for you. Instead, there should be a good match between the doctor and your needs, including everything from insurance coverage to bedside manner. Remember that we are talking about your body and your health, so if you just don’t feel comfortable with a particular doctor, it is entirely your right to choose to see someone else.
There aren’t many medical conditions we could have that haven’t been experienced by someone else we know. Whether it’s a close relative or a friend we only contact on social media, there are lots of people in our lives that have gone through countless medical conditions and events.
Your search for medical care can be enhanced by working through these connections. Talk to your friends and family. Ask what they liked and what they didn’t like about the care they received. Talk about things like bedside manner, communication, availability, competence, and all the things that another doctor may not know. Some doctors even connect with patients through social media. Compile all that information and make a decision.
When you find out you have a medical need, it can be very intimidating to try to figure out who should be providing your care. Be sure that you don’t just take the first name you hear. Try to get multiple recommendations, and review the nuts and bolts of insurance coverage, office hours, and location. Be sure that the entire process of treating your condition will be practical, convenient, effective, and affordable. Reaching that goal means doing a good search for the right doctor.