Your doctor plays a crucial role in your health and wellness. When the time comes to hire a new doctor, finding the right one can make a huge difference.
Along with checking review sites and seeking opinions from loved ones for their recommendations, the National Institute on Aging recommends asking the following questions when searching for a new doctor.
Are you board certified?
Doctors are not required to be board certified. However, doing so vastly improves the care their patients receive. Board certified doctors must undergo regular assessment and training to maintain their certified status. This also allows them to keep up with advances in medicine and pass their knowledge onto patients.
How can I get in touch with you?
You may need to speak with your doctor between appointments. In this case, most offices will provide a phone number, email address, and other methods of contact. Ask how long it usually takes to return messages. When it comes to urgent matters, such as significant medication side effects, you want to know that your doctor will respond to you promptly.
Is urgent care available?
Some doctor’s offices provide urgent care in the event a patient requires immediate medical attention. This allows you to see your own doctor for medical issues, as opposed to visiting an outside urgent care clinic or emergency room. Most patients prefer to see their own doctors when dealing with a worrying medical problem, so access to urgent care is a deciding factor in choosing a doctor.
Performing due diligence when choosing a new doctor may prevent you from receiving lackluster care. It could also prevent a serious medical oversight from occurring, such as an incorrect diagnosis or medication error.