Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Choosing a Doctor That's Right For You

In the 9 years after being diagnosed with kidney failure, I've seen and been managed by a good number of doctors. From dietitians to hematologists, nephrologists to surgeons, infectious disease physicians, gastroenterologists, you name it.

One thing I've learned is it is very important to have a physician that is right for you. So today, we have the first part of Choosing a Doctor That's Right for You.

The first aspect in choosing a doctor for me is to figure out who are the best in your area of need and are they available.

Doing the Background Check


The first step you want to do is make is a list of potential doctors who are knowledgeable the your area of need. A good place to start are friends, but only if they have some personal experience with the doctor or know someone personally who has been or is being handled by that doctor.

The next place to stake out would be the hospital where the doctor works. The people whom I found to be most helpful here were the patients who were being treated by the said doctor and the secretaries of other doctors in the hospital, yes, you read right, the secretaries. Why? Like anywhere, the medical workplace also has it share of gossip. After speaking to a few secretaries and assistants, I guarantee you'll know who to keep or cross out of your list.

Another resource where you can find good doctors are the organizations and support groups pertaining to your particular issue. As a group they know, and have dealt with a number of doctors. Experience has shown me that people who belong to such organizations and groups are often very open, accommodating and willing to share their experience and knowledge.

Location. Location. Location.

Where the doctor holds his clinic as well as his hospital affiliations are important. Try to have a hospital or clinic that is about 20 minutes or less away from your home. This may sound trivial, but when you have to go for checkups often or early morning blood tests, you will understand.

It is also helpful to know their clinic hours, you may just find out that their schedules conflicts with yours.


Financially, medical treatment is very expensive. Start by going through the list of doctors who accept the insurance you carry. More often than not, there is one good or even outstanding doctor under your HMO listing.

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