Having a good relationship with your doctor will make you more successful in managing your health.
Finding a good doctor is the first step. There are several things you should consider in choosing the best health care professional for you.
- Ask your friends for recommendations. If you know anyone that works in the health care industry, they might have additional insight.
- Make sure that the doctor you choose is in your insurance network.
- Look at board certifications. This information is online here.
- When researching a doctor, also find out which hospital they are affiliated with. Look into the reviews of the facility as well.
- Find out office policies and the normal wait time for routine appointments.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you are doing your part:
- Go to your appointment prepared.
- Bring all of your current medications (including over-the counter ones).
- Record any problems or concerns so you have.
- Prioritize which issues you would like to focus on at each appointment, and if necessary make a follow-up appointment to talk about any that were not addressed.
- Make sure you address any concerns about the treatment plan your doctor sets forth.
- You may be worried that the medical costs may exceed the need for certain tests or procedures. Ask if there are any less-aggressive alternatives.
- Make sure to ask about recovery time if applicable. It is important to know if you are going to miss work or need extra help at home.
- Ask any questions before you leave, and make sure you get the answers.
- You need to understand any medications you have been prescribed.
- If there is any follow-up appointments needed, schedule them before you leave the office.
- Find out about any at home after-care before you leave so you don’t have to wait for your doctor to return a phone call later. If there is something you don’t understand, get clarification.
- Find out how to access your electronic health records.
- This is an easy way to access information that you may have forgotten.
- You can double-check to make sure the information is accurate, especially regarding the medications you take.
- Call your doctor as soon as possible if you have received any treatments from other doctors or hospitals.
- Be as honest as possible. Your doctor can only help you if you give them all of the information that relates to your health.
Sites such as Healthgrades.com can help you choose the doctor that is right for you.