A trustworthy doctor is invaluable. So much stress and anxiety can be alleviated by depending on the effective treatment and credible advice based on the latest research. Needless to say, spending the time to look for and finding a good doctor who effectively treats your illnesses and promotes a healthy way of life is worthwhile.
As you age, sicknesses seem to linger and maladies increase, a good doctor can make a tremendous difference in quality of life. Juggling the treatment of multiple issues, as well as, the interactions of several medications is no easy task. A geriatric doctor who is proactive in continuing in medical knowledge, informative, communicates clearly, asks helpful questions, and listens to the patient will guide your healthiest self through the senior years.
Where do you start when searching for an excellent physician? Here are some tips towards finding a good doctor:
Three Tips Towards Finding a Good Doctor
- List Your Options
- The first step is to find all the doctors, geriatric or other specialists, who accept your insurance in the radius you are willing to travel.
- Keep in mind seeing a doctor farther away may mean having to use a hospital farther away, as well.
- Review, Reviews, Reviews.
- Personal reviews are ideal so aim for those first. Ask family members, friends, and anyone who you would trust. As the names come in you’ll probably notice a trend of recommendations.
- Next search for online reviews.
- Scour the sites for information on the doctors, such as board certifications, awards, and recognitions.
- Take note of where the doctor earned his or her medical degree. List doctors with degrees from highly acclaimed schools.
- If they are certified through the American Board of Medical Specialties, that means they went through x number of accredited training, passed certain exams, and are licensed by a state medical board.
- Reviews will also fill you in on malpractice claims and disciplinary actions which may be a serious issue, especially if there seems to be more than average.
- Read people’s online reviews. Online reviews can be misleading but more often than not the trend of online reviews is accurate. If a large number of people leave reviews praising a certain doctor, he or she will be worth checking out. Read individual reviews rather than simply an overall rating, as some individuals give a low rating for things that may not be an issue for you. For example, if someone rates low due to a long wait time to appointment rather than the actual care their rating may not mean as much to you.
- Key Sites for Research
- Lets you search by doctor’s name, specialty, procedure, or your condition
- Will give you information on education, malpractice, office locations, and affiliated hospitals
- Lets you search by name, location.
- Ratings are based on patient reviews and patients can post questions and answers
- Through Physician Compare you can find information for Medicare and Medicaid services
- You can find doctors who accept medicare
- Also allows you to see education, board certifications, and hospital affiliations
- National Committee for Quality Assurance
- A healthcare accreditation organization
- Shows information on which doctors meet certain standards in caring for certain issues such as diabetes, back pain, heart disease, etc…
- Search by insurance, name, specialty, condition, etc…
- Offers patient ratings and reviews on doctor’s accuracy of diagnosis, bedside manner, appointment wait time, etc…
- Shows awards, recognition, education, specialties, hospital associations, and more
After finding the best doctors in your network, start by scheduling an appointment with one.
- Note how long is takes to get an appointment and ask how long it takes for current patients to schedule an appointment.
- Bring questions and concerns for the doctor.
- Note the friendliness of the front desk and the nurses.
- Pay close attention to how attentive the doctor is to you, how thoroughly (or not) he or she answers your questions, how much time he gives you, how informative and helpful he is addressing every related issues, how he lays out all the options, what plan of treatment he would recommend, etc…