Health Care - What to Look for When Choosing A Doctor

Category: Health Care

What to Look for When Choosing A Doctor

Dyana Macalino   October 10, 2018

The process of selecting doctors may seem like a daunting task. Individuals with pre-existing medical concerns that need continuous care and appointments need to find a doctor with the right specialization and skills. Your choices can be limited based on your location, medical plan, insurance, and budget. The most important part to consider is to find a doctor that you feel comfortable with, respects you as a patient, and can help you with your medical concern.

So how do you go about finding the right doctor? How do you know if you’ve found the right one for you? The following is a list of factors to consider when choosing a physician.

1. Ask for recommendations

Talk to your family, neighbors, and friends and ask for referrals. A recommendation from a good source is a good way to find a competent, and skilled doctor. However, take into consideration that one size doesn’t fit all. A doctor that was good for your friend may not be right for you.

2. Look for doctors that are part of your network.

If you have medical insurance under your company, they will have a network of doctors and hospitals where consultations and other medical procedures will be covered or discounted. This saves you money from having to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. If you don’t have an HMO or medical insurance plan, you may consider buying pocket insurance which provide outpatient consultations to selected doctors. These usually include internal medicine, dermatologist, pediatricians, and other specialists. Some HMO companies sell pocket insurance and doing some research will help you know which plan fits into your budget and lifestyle. To know which doctors are covered by medical insurance, you may look at your company’s HMO website or call the insurance company.

3. Consider distance

A primary care doctor may mean regular visits for check-ups and consultations. With this in mind, you should find one whose office is convenient for you to go to. When you are sick and not feeling well, the last thing you’d want to do is travel far and go through traffic. You will also be more inclined to go to appointments and preventive care consultations if you doctor’s office is conveniently located.

4. Prioritize your needs

Every person’s health requirements are different and they can change as they get older. Before booking that appointment, do your research and look at their specialties and key interest. If you’re an adult, then a pediatrician does not apply to you, and if you have diabetes or high cholesterol, then a physician whose expertise is treating diabetic patients is the one you should go to.

5. Work hours

Most doctors have limited hours that they report to their office. Do you think you’ll be able to see them during their work hours? Do you have to file a leave from your office or do you work a night shift and can see them during regular hours? Is the physician available after work hours and can you talk to them during an emergency? Can you talk to them during the weekends or at night? These are factors that should be considered before choosing your physician.

6. Is age and gender important to you?

Would you be comfortable with medical procedures like pap smears and prostate exams done by a male or female doctor? Does the gender of the doctor matter when you need to discuss medical conditions? The age of a doctor should also be considered. If you are looking to build a long time relationship with a doctor, then you should not select one who is close to retiring. But if you are looking for a doctor who has more experience, then a physician who is older may be more preferable


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Dyana Macalino

Dyana Macalino is a writer and editor specialist in health, lifestyle
and food. Follow her at @DyanaMacalino

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