Medicine: Choosing a Doctor To Maintain Your Health

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     Your decision to choose a particular doctor is personal but you should take your time since he/she will have an important role in your life. Some people choose a doctor from the yellow pages but it is better to decide based on his/her strong desire to make a patient’s life better. Likewise, his/her character, education, experience, and reputation should be considered.

  1. Physical considerations are gender (comfort level is needed), location (close to home/school/work), environment (clean and safe are primary concerns), specialty (specialists have more experience/knowledge treating specific health conditions), and office staff (organized/pleasant/patient are key).

  2. Emotional considerations are honesty, respect and trust. If the doctor is not able to help you in a reasonable time frame consider switching providers. Also, listening and questioning you are critical to make sure good care is given.

  3. Financial concerns are acceptance of your health plan/insurance, ability to arrange a payment plan, willingness to give samples of medications before expensive presciptions, and desire to work with your insurance plan/health advocate if additional/more expensive treatment is needed.

  4. A group practice is ideal if more than one medical problem since all appointments can be scheduled on one day. Also, Take a copy of family history and your labs/xrays/medical records to each doctor.

  5. Honesty and communication skills should be assessed since you want your doctor to speak to you with respect and break down complex information to simple for your understanding.

     A medical appointment can be confusing so having a doctor who understands what you are feeling and can make you feel comfortable is important for your overall well-being.

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