In today’s day and age we are asked to make a lot of decisions on our behalf of our own healthcare.
What are the best medications to take, should they be over the counter or prescription?
What about the newest diet, is that safe?
Do I need a specialist?
How often should I be seeing the doctor?
WebMd says I have a brain tumor what should I do?
Do I really need to go to the ER?
One of the questions that unfortunately doesn’t get nearly enough attention is how do I choose the right doctor? And in this case specifically how do I choose the right primary care doctor?
Your primary care doctor is whom I like to refer to as the Captain of the ship when it comes to your health care. They SHOULD be the ones directing your care and helping you obtain your ultimate health goals. Imagine having someone in your corner that understands your medical history, your weird quirky reactions to medicine and always has your best interest in mind.
As a primary care doctor I always took pride in being such a difference maker my patient’s life but unfortunately more and more patients are stuck with the wrong doctors on their team. A good primary care doctor is going to be able to manage many of your common ailments like blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid issues, and obesity and know exactly when you need a specialist opinion but as insurance companies have continue to pay doctors less they are forced to treat patients like an assembly line rather than a paying customer.
Now that doesn’t apply to all doctors but many patients are faced with these issues because they don’t know how to choose the right doctor in the first place. Because of this we continue to have worsening health results as a whole and its gotten so bad that even insurance companies are spending resources making sure you choose the right doctor.
Today I want to give you 17 tips on how to choose the right doctor and offer you an opportunity to join my course “How to choose the right doctor”.
Here are 17 tips on how to choose the right doctor for you.
1. Know yourself You probably want to know who you are & what you expect to happen with your own care before choosing a doctor
2. Word of Mouth Nothing like good word of mouth to know whether the doctor you are about to see is one that you want to continue to see. Of course go to someone you can trust to ask for their opinion AND one who closely matches your personality.
3. Staff Friendly? Nothing makes or break you like a subpar office staff.
4. Personality Contest Does your doctor's vibe match with yours? It is important to know if you & your doctor is going to fit personality wise.
5. Who deals with the insurance company? Who goes to bat for you when insurance companies act like insurance companies is important. Some practices have teams that are ready for that sort of thing while others let you deal with the insurance denials.
6. Plaques on the wall? For some people knowing how smart their doctor is important. Where did they go to medical school? Where did they do their residency training? Do they have any research articles? If that is you than you better do your homework before settling.
7. Location, location, location Making sure that your doctor is one that you can physically see is clearly of your care. If you choose a doctor that is close to your job but far away from your home how likely are you going to see that doctor on your days off? Very unlikely so that means you will be compromising your health because the doctor is too far away and we cant have that.
8. Avoid culture shocks Understanding the importance of language & culture is important so make sure you go to a physician that is culturally competent
9. Referral Machine Does your doctor like to refer out a lot or are they confident enought to handle most of your medical care. This is a serious issue as many have much more higher cost when being referred out.
10. Availability Does the hours you are available match the office hours? Is Saturday a plus for you? Do you have to lose time at work just to go? These are questions you might want to know the answers to.
11. Any parking space You may be asking why the parking lot matters but if you like to be in an office where there isn’t people on top of each other in the waiting room, and the office is behind on the appoints already than make sure you understand how the process is regarding appointments & double booking.
12. Timeliness Many people don’t like what medicine has become regarding the “15 minute” appointment so make sure you know how much time your doctor is going to give you.
13. Scope the place out Not saying you have to sneak around the new office but what better way to get a feel of a new office by just calling ahead to get your first impression before you are a patient.
14. Ask how the office runs Taking the previous step a little further think about some of the questions you may want to ask the office staff.
15. Which hospital to go to In the case that you may end up in the hospital wouldn’t it be nice if your doctor could come & see you? Or maybe you just want to know where they would recommend if it ended up coming to that? knowing the physician’s hospital of choice could be a breaking point for you.
16. Trust your gut At the end of the day, you know when you are in the right place or not.
17. Hire slow, fire fast You have to know when to get out of there. If your doctor doesn’t fit just leave & don’t pass go.
These are some great tips and if you want to go into a little more detail sign up for my new course How to Choose the Right Doctor? Its a free online course that goes through the steps to get from not having a doctor to having an amazing one.