Whether you have just moved into a new neighborhood, halfway across the country or your doctor has recently retired, the process of finding new care providers can be stressful. Consider this a job interview you are conducting for your future physician or surgeon. If they can’t answer the following questions acceptably, move on.
First and Foremost – Insurance: If you don’t have medical insurance your options for selecting physicians are highly limited. If you do have coverage, they are also restricted, but in different ways. Starting with the catalogue provided by your carrier is a good idea, but plan to do some additional checking. You don’t just want someone who accepts your insurance, you want someone with whom you are comfortable, who is well credentialed and available when you need them. With your insurance on board, you can move on to the next steps.
What is the Specialty of the House? – Doctors specialize. It is a stark fact that many doctors in the same city will have the same basic credentials; their specialties set them apart. Sometimes the specialty a doctor chooses is practical, sometimes it is a matter of passion. Among surgeons, specialization is even narrower. Barring an emergency procedure investigates each candidate’s specialization. Surgeons will want to cut, oncologists will want to burn; approaches to a problem are determined all too often by specialty, not necessarily what is best for you.
Checking Other Credentials: Finding specialties that are useful to you is wonderful, but you also want to check up on standard credentials and malpractice suits. Many states keep these records online for public perusal. Others will require a phone call. Take this opportunity to ensure that the doctor or surgeon you are considering is certified and licensed in your state and has the credentials they claim to have. If all the paperwork is in order, you can move on to the final step.
It may seem like a hassle to go through this kind of inquiry before you select a candidate. After all, why not just pick someone from the insurance catalog? The simple reason is that you deserve the best, and your health is worth the effort.
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