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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.