Whether you’re growing up and leaving home for the first time, moving to a new city, or changing insurance, one of the most important decisions you have to make is choosing a physician. For many of us, this can also be one of the most daunting choices we have to make. The doctor/patient relationship asks you to trust this person with sensitive personal information and ultimately with your health and life. If you’re a sexually active person, you need a doctor who will understand that you may wish to be referred for services such as STD testing or prescribed birth control pills. Here are a five helpful tips on choosing a doctor who is right for you.
1. Check the website. Many medical practices will include an ‘about’ page detailing their physicians’ educational backgrounds and personal bios on the doctors themselves. The educational information can help reassure you if you have any questions about the skill of the doctor, and the bio can help you determine if the doctor’s personality will mesh well with yours. For example, if you’re really into hiking and the doctor lists that as an interest on his or her website, you know that you’ll have at least one thing in common from the beginning.
2. Ask friends for recommendations. Reviews from websites like ZocDoc or Yelp aren’t always the best source of accurate information because people are usually more likely to leave online reviews if they feel very strongly one way or another, but your friends are not likely to recommend someone to you unless they have genuinely had positive experiences with that provider. You’re likely to get several good options this way, which you can then feel free to narrow down.
3. Check availability. You may have found a doctor who sounds perfect for you on paper, but when you call to make an appointment, you find out they have a several-month wait or are not currently taking new patients. If they’re not taking new patients, of course, you will need to find someone else. A several-month waiting list can be a good sign that other patients like this doctor, but you’ll need to decide whether the doctor seems good enough to wait for or whether you would prefer to find someone with fewer patients who is a little bit more accessible to you on short notice.
4. Check with your insurance. Most insurance companies have lists of in-network and preferred providers. Starting from your insurance company’s list (usually found on their website) can save you a lot of time and hassle.
5. Ask to talk to the doctor. Many physicians will allow you to have a phone appointment or short interview to address any questions or concerns you may have before choosing them as your doctor. This is a great opportunity to see how comfortable you feel with him or her.
No matter who you are, there is a physician out there who is right for you. With these quick tips, you can find a doctor who is competent, qualified, and a great fit for you in no time.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with https://stdtestingfacilities.com/, which provides users same day STD testing in a discrete and proficient manner.