There are state and federal programs designed to help you find a doctor, but the key is to choose the right physician. During your first visit, there are key questions to consider. When you go to their office, do the other patients … look like you? Are the doctors board certified? Do they get along with the staff? If you get along with them, that person becomes your health coach. Because, remember, the word doctor means teacher, so it's a two-way street. If you come up with the right person, you're on the right path.
Jeff Baker, MD
Specialty: Family Medicine
- family medicine
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursImmanuel Clinic
Springdale, AR 72762
- What should I keep in mind while looking for a doctor?
How do I find the specialized surgeon I need?
Use your doctor's referral as a starting point. Your primary care physician may recommend a surgeon that he or she has chosen many times for this surgery. There's a good chance he or she knows the doctor or that they're buddies. "She's excellent," your doctor may affirm, and in fact, this physician may be an excellent surgeon.
But you can't just fly on that alone, especially if the surgery is a highly complex one. Your smart-patient detective job is to find out if this is the most excellent surgeon you can choose for this particular operation. Ask your doctor for a few names, and investigate each.
Also, aside from asking your regular doctor to point you to the maestro of this surgery, doing Internet research can help you locate a hyper-specialized surgeon. You just have to hope that one works at your hospital, or you might be planning a road trip.
A good way to find a highly specialized surgeon is to look in medical studies.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment
Will I have to see a primary care provider for referrals to specialists?
Most health plans will require a referral from a primary care specialist before seeing another specialist such as a cardiologist or neurologist. However, some plans do not require a referral. It is best to check with your health plan before seeing another specialist to see if a referral is required. If one is required and you do not have one, you could end up paying the entire bill.
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