How can I find a good doctor?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

To find a qualified doctor, make sure that he or she has the proper training and is Board-certified with their respective medical specialty. Evaluate the medical school, residency, and fellowship of training. Check their malpractice record and years in practice. Find out which hospital affiliations the doctor has and their standing. Referrals from other doctors and surgeons can also be very useful. Make a consultation with the doctor and arrive with a well prepared list of questions. Most importantly, make sure that you are comfortable the physician during the initial consultation and if necessary seek several doctors to interview and cross reference for strengths and weakness. 

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
We know from experience that doctors are human. But overweight doctors are far less likely to provide good weight-loss advice to overweight patients -- and that’s a matter of life and death. Doctors who smoke might be willing to overlook a patient’s bad habits -- that's another threat to your health. So how can you find a doctor who's qualified and meets your needs? Here’s our “Good Enough to Be Your Doctor” checklist:
  • Look up the doctor on Facebook and Google. Check for healthy activities.
  • Do a front office-interview. You’ll learn a lot from how the support staff treats you. Ask if the doctor sees patients your age and with your health concerns. Ask where the doc did a residency and if they have hospital privileges. Find out how long the doc’s been board-certified (three years should be the minimum).
  • Check out the doc’s credentials. Go online to see if the doc is included in medical association databases, such as the American Medical Association and the American Board of Medical Specialties. Only choose someone board-certified with admitting privileges at a major medical center.
  • Don't settle. If the doc doesn’t ask about alcohol, tobacco, physical activity, food, or stress, consider that a red flag. If you don’t feel comfortable or confident, keep looking. The reward is your better health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.