How to Find a Qualified Medical Doctor?

Finding a Qualified Medical Doctor

There are many ways to find a qualified medical doctor. If you are truly looking only to see if they are qualified to treat a particular problem or issue you are having, it may be as simple as checking their medical license(s), board certification, and other certificates, that are relevant to the particular kind of medicine the doctor practices.

Many people though, want much more than just a qualified medical doctor. Many people want a medical doctor that is popular and/or highly rated by patients and peers. Many people want a doctor’s whose personality and temperament make them feel safe in that they are getting high quality care from someone who really listens to them as well as being at the top of their game. Many people want things different than the aforementioned or want variations on them but most people who are looking for a qualified medical doctor are looking for a good medical doctor

Primary Care Physician

Nowadays, it’s important to have a primary care doctor. It’s important to have a doctor who you see at least once a year for check-ups and one who knows about your and your family’s medical histories but it’s also important to already be established with a doctor before a problem arises because it often takes a lot longer to get a first time appointment than an unwell visit with your primary care physician. More and more insurance carriers and plans require that people have a primary care physician to be their main resource. This means that a patient needs to see their primary care physician to get recommendations and referrals for other doctors and healthcare providers. 

Even though it may feel restrictive to have to go through your physician every time you want medical care, even if you want medical care for a problem that they have no area of expertise in, when all is said and done, it can be nice to have a project manager to help you navigate confusing healthcare and insurance systems. As well, research indicates that people who have a strong relationship with a physician report a greater satisfaction for the level of care they receive as well as they enjoy better health.

Insurance 

Make sure that a doctor you want to see accepts your insurance and your particular plan. You can use your insurance’s website or call them to get lists of doctors that accept your plan. Once you decide on a doctor, it’s important to contact their office directly to make sure that they still accept your insurance because insurance websites are not always updated in a timely manner when doctors add or drop that insurance.

Other things to keep in mind when looking for a good doctor that is qualified for your needs are:

– Hospital affiliation

– Board certification

– Red flags such as medical malpractice claims, disciplinary actions, etc.

– Personality and compatibility

– Do they cater to drug reps from pharmaceutical companies

– Office policies and doctor appointment availability 

– Nurses and other medical support staff

– Office staff

– Technology – is the practice’s office and medical technology up to date

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3 Steps to Finding an Experienced Doctor

Your health is one of the most valuable aspects of your life. Therefore, trusting in a doctor’s care should not be a gamble. However, with so much information available today, many people ask themselves how to find a qualified medical doctor. It can be risky to make the wrong choice, as countless patients have learned. With a little research, you can avoid mistakes and choose the right doctor for your health needs by following these 3 tips.

Start With Your Primary Care Physician

Your primary care physician or GP (general practitioner) is a great place to start with your health questions. Make a list of your concerns before your appointment. This doctor can help narrow down your symptoms and answer questions. If your concern is greater than your primary care physician can treat, he or she can recommend you to a specialist for further examination.

Research Local Specialists

Using your primary care physician’s recommendations, do some further research on more specialists in that field. It can be a good idea to get second or third opinions on health conditions. The following items are good to look up or ask:

  • How many years he or she has practiced
  • Where he or she was educated
  • What types of insurance their practice accepts
  • Which hospitals he or she is associated with
  • How far away his or her office is from your home

By gathering as much information as you can find, you can feel more confident that you are taking charge of your health and finding the best doctors. Once you have a short list of specialists, look up their standings with the American Board of Medical Specialties as well as the status of each of their licenses in the states they practice.

Prepare for Your Appointment

It is a good idea to make a list of your medical history before your appointment. That way, you will not have to worry about forgetting anything important on the day of your meeting. You can include the following information:

  • Insurance details
  • Personal medical history (including surgeries, allergies, and medications)
  • Family medical history
  • Names and addresses of other doctors you have visited

With the preparation out of the way, you can focus on asking questions during your examination and building a relationship with the specialist. Write down their responses to your questions as well as your comments. Later, compare notes if you visit other specialists. The quality of the responses can indicate how competent the doctor is.

Keeping an open mind about your medical doctor can be as important as trusting your instincts. Preparation beforehand and attention during medical appointments can help you find a quality doctor.