February 11, 2011
Finding Dr. Right
It’s 9:00 at night, your child has a bad sore throat, and you don’t have a regular doctor you can call. What do you do? Hopefully if you are reading this now, you can prevent it from happening.
Choosing the right doctor can make a big difference as to whether or not you and your family gets the kind of health care you want and need. Some people look through the Yellow Pages, others ask their friends for recommendations, many go online and check their insurance company’s provider directory. You should probably do all three.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, here are some questions to ask:
Is this doctor contracted with your insurance company? Some docs may be willing to take you on as a patient, but if not “in network” you will likely pay extra to see them.
To what hospitals do they refer patients?
What are their medical credentials and qualifications? Are they board certified? Do they have any limitations on their license?
What percentage of their patients share your cultural background?
What are office hours? Are they open late any nights or on weekends?
How long is the wait for an urgent appointment? For a routine appointment?
Finding “Dr. Right” can be a bit time consuming but it’s one of the most important things you can do to make sure you get the right health care, at the right time, for the right price.