Get Smart…er

get-smartYou know I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that there are times we think we know it all. I know there are times in which I’m absolutely sure I know the answer to a question, would even bet money on it, and I’ve been absolutely wrong.

There are times where it is imperative that we have the correct answers, life saving, life changing answers.  Those would be instances which affect our physical well-being and that of the ones we love and care for.

Before making decisions involving your health, finding a health specialist, do your homework.  Check with friends and family – ask them who they recommend and why. Don’t choose randomly from your insurance guide.  Ask your current doctor or trusted a doctor whom they would recommend. If it’s a specialist – do a thorough check of them on-line.  See if you can get a free consultation before you have an actual appointment with the doctor.  Make a list of concerns to go over with them at that time.

If a doctor doesn’t have time to answer your questions beforehand, look elsewhere.  The best doctors are not only skilled in their field, but also know how to relate well to patients and the patient’s family.

Here are a questions to have answered when seeking to find a new health professional:

  1. Do you, as a patient, prefer to see a male or a female?
  2. How far are you willing to travel to see them?
  3. If you have unusual hours – can they meet your needs?
  4. Do they take your health insurance?  (Check with your insurance company for yourself as well – just to be sure.)
  5. How many patients do they see in a day?  (If they are commonly overbooked – you’ll be waiting and waiting.)
  6. How far ahead must you book routine appointments?  Do they take same-day appointment requests?
  7. Will you be charged if you need to cancel or change your appointment?
  8. How much time do they generally spend with their patients?
  9. If you are into alternative/holistic medicine, are they educated in it and aware of the options?
  10. If you have an after hours emergency – is there a number to call?  Where should you go?
  11. If you are from another world culture – are there people available who can translate or explain things to you in your native tongue?  Should you bring along someone yourself?
  12. If it involves surgery, do they practice at your preferred hospital?

Many of these questions can relate to dental specialists as well.

I especially urge you to do this if you have recently moved to a new area – don’t wait until you have an emergency and have to make a snap decision.  Get smart!

Here are links to suggested sites to help locate a doctor in your area:

http://www.docboard.org/aim/index.htm

http://www.abms.org/

https://apps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/recaptcha.jsp

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