In the process of seeking a specialist doctor, people tend to take recommendations from their primary care physician or from family and friends. Although these are great people to go to for advice, there are other ways to find the right doctor for your health needs. We’ve compiled a list of helpful steps to follow to make the process of finding the perfect specialist easier for you.
Helpful steps to follow when looking for the right specialist
- Determine the doctor you need – The first step in finding the right fit for you is figuring out what kind of specialist you need. The best place to begin is by pinpointing your set of symptoms, and decide what specialty is best suited to treat them. If you aren’t sure where the source of pain or symptoms is, it’s best to first visit your primary care physician. Your primary care physician can also help guide you to the right specialist to see.
- Find out which doctors are in your area -A good way to start is to access your health insurance’s directory. This is a good starting place to finding local specialists who are in your network.
- What are your preferences? – This is a good question to ask yourself before choosing a specialist. Do you want to see a doctor affiliated with the hospital you see another doctor? Do you have a preference on gender? Do you need a bilingual doctor?
- Research the doctor before you go – Before you schedule a visit, check into the background of the doctor you plan to see. Are they board certified? Do they have any reviews? Do they have an online bio, website, or social media presence? By reading about them, you can get a better feel before hand if they will be the right fit.
- Schedule a visit – While scheduling a visit, take mental notes on office staff friendliness, helpfulness, and the amount of time it takes to make the appointment.
- Go to your appointment – When going to your first appointment, make sure to write down all of your questions. In addition bring a list of your medications, medical history, and insurance information. When asking the doctor your questions, see how the respond to your concerns. Did they listen to you thoroughly? Were your questions answered? Did they make you feel comfortable?
- Always have a second option – If you have any doubt about the doctor, do not hesitate to find a different one. There are many specialists out there, and you deserve to find the right fit.