Even the best doctors are only human beings. From serious mistakes and misdiagnoses to bad bedside manner or matches, it’s important to do your research before selecting a physician. Luckily, the internet has made it easy to do your homework ahead, giving you a better chance at finding a well-matched doctor to attend to your medical care. If you’re wondering if it’s worth taking the time to research your doctor ahead, why anyone would attempt it, and what to check on, read on.
Licensing, Certifications, and Specialties
Whether you’re looking for a doctor to test hearing changes or considering switching providers after a rough diagnosis, making informed decisions about who will administer your care is important. No matter what your health conditions, securing the right care team can make a huge difference in final outcomes and how comfortable you feel in the exam room. The great news is that the internet allows us the ability to make informed health decisions when it comes to doing our research on service providers ahead of time.
Before even making that first appointment, you can look up doctors on a searchable database for all kinds of information—from licensing to certifications and association affiliations. The internet affords us the ability to look into doctors’ treatment protocols and even come up with a list of questions before meeting with our potential doctor for the first time.
Maybe you suffer from hearing loss and are looking for a top doctor fluent in sign language. You can easily find out if they are members of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association with a few clicks of the mouse and some time set aside for research. While you could technically accomplish the same results with a phone call, searchable databases make learning about your potential physician ahead of time simpler.
When researching a potential doctor, you’ll want to research any malpractice claims or complaints that have been put against them. The same way you would use MediFind symptom checker to rule out an illness or disease, you’ll want to be sure to do your research fully. Even on the most basic of searchable physician databases, you can often find additional information if you take the time to dig for it. This is especially important if you are facing serious health conditions or are looking for medical experts with specialties out of the norm. By eliminating doctors with bad reviews or malpractice suits, you will be one step closer to what will likely be a better match for you.
A solid relationship built on both trust and respect is important between a doctor and their patient. A big part of establishing this will be showing up at your first consultation prepared to ask specific questions such as your best possible chances for recovery, potential causes, research reports, the latest treatments your doctor is familiar with, and how they feel about experimenting with new treatments. These first conversations will set the tone for your relationship going forward and help your doctor to understand what you require for better care.
The same way you’d want a succesful parent-teacher conference for your kid, you’ll want your first appointment to go well. For example, if you’re a strong believer in alternative therapies or the role a diet plays in overall health, you’ll want a doctor who is comfortable with a pitch on clinical research trials or deviations from basic standards of care. Finding a doctor who sees you as an individual and works with you to provide the right care for you, versus seeing you as a number, will matter as you work through phases of your illness for best health outcomes. No different than that student in school who has a favorite teacher, you have a right to hire a doctor who feels right to you and cares about the lives of people.
In the end, doing your homework before even meeting a possible doctor is a great way to put both yourself and them into a position of success. In fact, your very quality of life could depend on it.