The Right Way to Find a Good Doctor

finding a good doctor

‘Tis the season for the common cold! If you don’t already have a physician or need to change your current one, your BBB® has the following tips to finding a good doctor.

I am sure most of you just do your research online, looking up reviews on Yelp or Angie’s list, but do you really want to find your doctor the same way you find your restaurant? Here are a few foolproof ways to find a good doctor:

1. Start with your insurance

If you have insurance, start from there. Search your insurance’s directory for doctors, but make sure to call their offices, since doctors add and drop insurance plans very often.

2. Research hospital affiliation

Your choice of doctor can determine which hospital you go to, in case of an emergency, so try to find out if and where your doctor has admitting privileges.

3. Board certification

Being certified by the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) means your doctor earned a degree from a certified and verified medical school, that he or she completed a three to seven years training program and that they passed several exams before being certified by the ABMS. To check if your doctor is certified or not, go to certificationmatters.org.

4. Are there any red flags?

Red flags like malpractice claims and disciplinary actions are very important in finding a good doctor. Doctors get sued every now and then, but if there are many malpractice claims, you may want to find someone else. Here’s a list to help you do a background check on your doctor!

5. Personality matters

According to a 2014 survey from The Associated Press, more than half of Americans choose their doctor based on personality and relationship. But how can you tell if you’re going to like their personality or not? Here are a few questions you need to answer after a first visit: Is the doctor listening to you with no interruptions? Does he or she explain everything you need to know? Does your doctor have a friendly approach or a more distant one?

6. Watch out for drug reps!

Many doctors accept visits from pharmaceuticals reps, which not only take up a lot of time, but can also influence a physician’s choice in prescribing a medicine or another. This means they’ll likely recommend a more expensive drug- which is not always the better option.

7. Office policies matter

Who doesn’t hate spending time in the waiting room? If you don’t want to waste your time, do your research ahead of time: read online reviews and even call the office. Don’t be afraid to ask them what the waiting period is, how long it takes to make an appointment and if they offer same-day appointments.

8. Do you like the staff?

While you are filling out forms, try to look around and see if the staff is friendly and helpful or not. If they look bored or have a bad attitude, you may not want to go there anymore. Healthcare is a team effort, not a one-man show, so everyone’s attention matters!

Whether you need someone to treat your common cold or a more serious problem, choosing the right doctor for you is probably the most important health decision you will ever make, so make sure it’s a good one.

Also, don’t forget to check our directory for trusted physicians!

For more information you can trust, go to bbb.org/Evansville!

2 Comments

  1. I like what this article mentions about the importance of the doctor’s personality. My kids have some interesting health problems and I want to make sure I find a good doctor for them. Choosing one who will be able to make them feel happy would definitely be helpful to ensure that they like going to the doctor’s office.

  2. Since my family and I just moved to a new area, we are looking for a doctor. We want to make sure we find someone that can care for the whole family. Reliability and feeling comfortable with them are also things we are looking for. Thanks for sharing these tips on how to find the right doctor. As you said, after a visit, evaluating if the doctor listens to you without interruptions and if they explain things in an understandable way will help you determine if their personality will be good for you and your family.

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