Choosing a doctor for you and your family can be a daunting task, but there are guidelines that will simplify the process. Use these five tips to find the right doctor for your needs.
You certainly know to check your insurance network before scheduling an appointment with a doctor, but just checking your insurer’s website may not be enough. Doctors frequently add and drop insurance plans from their coverage, so it’s wise to call in for verification before scheduling any visits.
Recognize Red Flags
A quick Google search is all it should take to determine if your doctor has had extensive lawsuits or patient complaints, and you should take these seriously. While the best doctor in the world might be sued once or twice, don’t book an appointment with a doctor who appears to have recurring patient complaints or malpractice lawsuits.
Know Your Wait Time
When selecting a go-to doctor, it’s essential that you be able to get into the office ASAP. Ask if the doctor takes same-day appointments and make sure you won’t need to wait more than a week to get into the office. Waiting may seem like a minor inconvenience when you go in for a checkup, but it’ll be a much bigger pain when you’re actually sick and waiting weeks to see your doctor.
Consider the Staff
You may have found a talented, lovely doctor, but that is next to worthless when their staff is unpleasant or incompetent. The staff are the people who will be scheduling your appointments, checking you in, etc., so they need to be scrutinized as much as the doctor. If the person who answers your call seems rude or unsure of what they’re doing, hang up and find another office.
When you first visit a doctor’s office, treat it as a litmus test and see how you interact together. Do they interrupt you? Did they answer all of your questions fully? If the doctor has an amazing record but isn’t someone you can entrust your health care to, then don’t hesitate to avoid booking another appointment.
Selecting a family doctor can be a nerve-wracking process, and while it is important, it shouldn’t feel impossible. Use the above five steps to help you find the right doctor, and you should be booked with a reliable physician in no time.