Every day, we make choices that may or may not lead to good things. Many of these choices aren’t that important, but when it comes to your health, you can’t afford to take chances. Bad decisions can hurt you, and it’s not as easy to “turn back” as moving to a new city or changing careers. It’s important to find a good doctor who can treat you well, especially if your health problem is serious. You should also see Best Gastro Surgeon in Delhi.
But even though there are a lot of qualified doctors out there, not every one of them is the best choice. Diagnostic errors happen every year to 12 million American adults, which can lead to delayed diagnoses and inconsistent treatments. On online review sites, doctors may seem qualified and trustworthy, but they might not be the right fit for you or have enough experience to treat you well.
How do you find a good doctor who will help you? How do you figure out which doctors are good and which ones are the best? In this article, we’ll answer these and other questions and show you how to find the right doctor in six steps. We want you to feel like you have more control over your health journey so that you can reduce some of the risks and get rid of the uncertainty.
Step 1: Look at the type of doctor and his or her experience.
Before you start looking for the best doctor, it’s important to think about what kind of doctor you want and how much experience they have.
Check out the following factors to start the evaluation process.
How you are and what you know. There are more than 7,000 health problems that people have today, so one doctor can’t be an expert in all of them. If you’ve already been given a diagnosis, make sure the doctor has treated people with your condition before and has been successful.
What kind of doctor. It can be hard to figure out what kind of doctor you need. Say one of your symptoms is that you have headaches all the time. Do you see a general practitioner, a neurosurgeon, a cardiologist, an oncologist, an allergist, or an ENT? To choose the right doctor, you would need to know what caused the symptom. But you wouldn’t need a doctor if you knew what was causing your symptoms. Visit our symptom checker, a tool built with powerful AI that looks at your symptoms and gives a list of possible conditions, to narrow down a possible diagnosis. Use this information to find out about the conditions and narrow down your choices so you can find the best doctors more easily.
Step 2: Seek Referrals, Not Reviews
Referrals from a trusted friend or family member can help you find a good doctor, as long as the doctor meets your needs. Talk to the person who sent you to the doctor in detail and ask about their experience, whether it was good or bad. Here are some questions:
What made you want to recommend this doctor?
Was there anything you thought could be done better?
Will you see this doctor again? What’s the deal?
Online reviews of doctors can sometimes be misleading.
Since there are so many places to find reviews of doctors, looking for a doctor usually involves a few Google searches and about 15 to 20 minutes of reading online reviews. If multiple people give a doctor five stars, they must be great, right? No, not always.
If we’re being honest, sometimes we choose doctors the same way we choose a local bakery: we read online reviews to find out what people liked and didn’t like, and we choose based on what Sally down the street said about her great experience.
You don’t have to choose the first five-star doctor you find when you search for one on Google. Online reviews (if they are real) can help you figure out if a doctor has a good bedside manner and if the staff is friendly, but they can’t tell you about the doctor’s training and experience, which are important factors when looking for a good doctor.
Referrals can also lead you in the wrong direction, so be careful. Even if someone you trust gives you a good recommendation for a doctor, you should still use some of the other criteria in this guide to keep looking. Personal referrals are better than reading online reviews, but you may not have the same health goals as the person who gave you the referral. Only use referrals to narrow your focus.
Step 3: Check your insurance, but take care of your health first.
Your health insurance may require you to look for doctors who are in-network. We didn’t make this the first step because we don’t want money to keep you from getting the care you need and deserve.
Even though many people can’t afford to see a doctor outside of their insurance network, that doesn’t mean that an out-of-network doctor won’t work with them. If a doctor really cares about their patients’ health, they will often give them a discount.
The best case scenario is if you can find a doctor in your network who meets all of your needs. But if you can’t, there may still be other doctors who could help you.
Step 4: Narrow down your choices and make your final decisions.
You may already have a short list of possible doctors who have the right experience and knowledge and may or may not be in your insurance network.
Step 5: Prepare Your Questions. Go to the doctor.
When you go to the doctor, the evaluation process doesn’t end. During your visit, pay attention to how friendly the staff is, how long the visit lasts (did you feel rushed? ), and anything else that’s important to you.
Prepare yourself. If you have questions about a certain condition, read up on the latest research and treatments before you go. Ask the doctor specific questions about your research and listen for thoughtful, detailed answers about the different ways to go about it.
Step 6: Ask for a second (and third) opinion
We think you should get a second opinion, especially if you have a rare illness. Doctors’ protocols may show how they think about how to treat patients, so even if you have the same diagnosis, you may get different treatments from each doctor.
Also, it’s essential to do your due diligence—even doctors make mistakes. According to a study done by Johns Hopkins in 2016, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US.