How to Pick the Right Doctor

Shaking Hands with a Doctor

Choosing a doctor is one of the more important decisions that you will face in your life, especially if you have health issues that require specialized attention. Simply opening the Yellow Pages and finding the first doctor who specializes in the field you need is not a good idea, but neither is going without quality healthcare while you do your research. It is important to learn how to choose the right doctor for your needs, both from a long-term and short-term perspective.

Use a Direct-Search Approach

The Internet is an amazing tool for this type of research, both for long-term and short-term care needs. You can research by a variety of factors, such as specialization or area of expertise, age range of patient (such as pediatrician versus adult practitioner), location of the office, and more. For instance, use a major search engine such as Google to look up the phrase Scottsdale whiplash injury chiropractor. Instead of listings that deal with pediatrics, oncology, dentists, and ophthalmologists, your have limited your results to whiplash injury chiropractors located in the Scottsdale area.

The direct-search approach means entering exactly what is needed in the search field, based upon what is appropriate for your needs. If you cannot find something exact, broaden your terms just enough to find what is needed — without becoming so vague that you have no idea what you are looking at. Once you find several potential doctors that are suitable for you, use other methods to narrow down the selections based on location, experience, or other factors that matter most to you.

Use a Word-of-Mouth Approach

Two Friends Chatting With One Another

Another option is to go by what people around you suggest, such as by asking for referrals from friends or acquaintances with the same or similar medical conditions as you. If you live in an area with a lot of friends and family, you can rely on their opinions and quickly determine who you should see and who you should probably avoid. However, not everyone has a word-of-mouth source, especially those who are new to an area or country, so this is not always the easiest approach.

In addition, what works very well for one person may not work at all for another one and this can be a problem in the medical industry. Your friend may see someone who treats them in a manner that works very well for them, but that medical professional may be someone with whom you would have a hard time working. Keep this in mind as you go for your initial consultation, and do not be afraid to seek a second opinion if what you are hearing does not sound appropriate based upon your symptoms or medical history.

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