Many people look for the closest doctor, the most recommended doctor, or the doctor with the best credentials. They view doctors as interchangeable professionals who simply have varying degrees of experience and expertise. As such, the doctor who is best for one must be best for another. Unfortunately, in the world of medicine, there are many decisions which must be made based on opinion and interpretation, which means experience may not be the best determining factor in finding the right doctor for you. So to be sure you and your doctor are on the same page, here are 5 questions to ask.
- What happens if you have an emergency after hours or while the doctor is unavailable? This is a question about the doctor’s practice, more than anything. But understanding what happens in emergency situations or in situations when the doctor isn’t available is important. Unless you are sure you will only need medical help during regular business hours when the doctor is available, it is important to understand what you are supposed to do and who will be helping you. If the doctor does not have a concrete plan, or if the backup plan is not to your liking, you may want to look elsewhere for a more prepared physician.
- How often are patients referred to specialists? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but it will tell you how the doctor prefers to perform medicine. If a high percentage of patients are sent to