Doctor Suggestion - The Fine Of Art Choosing A Doctor
It goes without saying that choosing a doctor is one of the more important decisions you may have to make at one or more times in your life. Many of us go to the yellow pages, go down the list of physicians and pick a doctor whose name appeals to us. That's not a very good method, but in an age where there are plenty of good doctors, most being quite competent, we usually seem to luck out.
Naturally there are instances where you will want to narrow down your search rather than just look for a general practitioner or doctor of internal medicine. If you have a certain physical disorder and either the doctor you've been seeing has retired, was unsatisfactory, or you've moved, you'll want a doctor who is either a specialist (possibly expensive) or at least knowledgeable about your particular disorder. For example, if you're suffering from heart disease you'll naturally want to find a doctor who has a background in cardiac medicine and care.
Consider A Nurse Practitioner For Primary Care - Where small children are involved, you would look to a pediatrician. Many obstetricians and gynecologists also serve as primary care physicians for women, though not all of them do. If you're in good health, a nurse practitioner may meet your needs. In some states nurse practitioners can work independently while in others they must work under the general guidance or supervision of a doctor. Most nurse practitioners have the background needed to serve as your primary care provider.
One of the best ways to go about choosing a doctor is to seek out recommendations from those in your own age group, or those who have a medical condition similar to yours. If you can find one or two people who are extremely pleased with their physician, it's certainly worthwhile visiting that doctor's office and inquire about the possibility of becoming one of his or her patients.
A Clinic Is Always A Possibility - In some cases choosing a doctor involves little more than choosing a clinic that has a good reputation for primary care. Most clinics have several doctors and nurses, any one of whom can provide medical services to you, but most clinics will usually assign a doctor to you, or you can choose the doctor yourself.
If you are new to an area, the AMA (American Medical Association) has a list of doctors practicing in your area, listing them by their specialty. The AMA also provides information on a doctor's certification and training background. The American Board of Medical Specialties can also give you information as to whether doctors are board certified, very important if you are looking for a doctor specializing in a certain area.
Personality Matters Too - There's always the possibility that the doctor of choice is extremely competent but does not have what we would call good bedside manners. Most doctors get on well with their patients, but there are instances where a patient would rather have a tooth pulled than visit his or her primary care provider, simply because it isn't always an enjoyable experience. Most physicians have likeable personalities, but there are a few who do not, and some can even make a patient fell guilty about being ill. Unless you live in a very small town, or in a rural area, you can usually switch doctors if that is the case.
Ask Questions, Answer Questions - When you do have a first consultation or interview with a doctor, you'll be asked a lot of questions, mostly pertaining to your medical history and to some extent about your lifestyle. That's to be expected, but you can ask questions too, and it doesn't hurt to have a list handy of what you want to know.
Even though we can't choose our relatives or our neighbors, we can still choose our pastors, service providers, and doctors. With just a little time and effort, and by getting the advice of others, we'll make a satisfactory choice most of the time.