How to Properly Compare Doctors

When people think of doctors, they typically have feelings of fear and apprehension. Doctors can hold a lot of sway over your life, especially if you have a condition that needs regular treatment, but what happens when you get a doctor that is not a good fit? Too many people do not realize that they are not stuck with the doctor that they have. Doctors are like any other professionals; each one has his or her own way of doing things and administering treatment, and there are some methods and modes that work less well for you. Comparison shopping for doctors may seem a little strange, but at the end of the day, this may be what gets you the medical care and treatment that you need.

Establish Your Health Goals

Remember that there is a goal in mind when you are thinking about going to the doctor. Perhaps you are looking for a doctor who is willing to try a more experimental type of treatment for a long-term disorder, or perhaps you are interested in a doctor who is more interested in lifestyle approaches for treatment rather than medication. What do you want out of your relationship with your doctor, and what kind of interactions do you do best with? Some people require a doctor of a certain sex, while other people need doctors who are very familiar with specific conditions.

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Personal References

If you have friends and family who have general care providers, ask them what they think of them. It is always a good idea to get a personal reference if possible, but don’t forget that other people have needs that are not yours. Ask for recommendations, and then ask why they recommend the doctors that they do. How do their doctors treat them, and what kind of treatment plans do they create? Do they listen and do they respond well to what you tell them? The more first hand information you have, the better.

Internet Research

There are now many sites devoted to figuring out how good a doctor is and how they might suit you. Get online and look up any doctors that you are considering, or simply start by looking up doctors in your area that practice the kind of medicine that you need. There are plenty of reviews there, but you should always remember that you should take them with a grain of salt. Sometimes a negative review will tell you that this is precisely the right doctor for you. Remember that one or two bad reviews is usually not a problem, but that a series of bad reviews can be a sign that you really need someone different!

Call Your Insurance Provider

When you are getting the right doctor for you, take a moment to call your insurance provider with the names that you have come up with so far or go onto your insurance provider’s website. This is something that can help you figure out who is covered and how much you will be expected to pay. It is important to remember that medical care does come with a certain price tag, and that that needs to be something that you are ready to pay. Calling your insurance provider is an important step towards finding the right medical professional for your needs.

Start Interviewing

This is where finding the right doctor can get a little expensive. Start making appointments, and make sure that the doctors understand that this is just a short consultation. Before you go, make a list of questions that you want to have answered. These questions may range from “how do you feel about alternative medicine,” to “how often have you treated people with this issue?” These are things that can help you decide how you want to move forward and whether this doctor is best for you.


When you talk with the doctor, take into account everything that they have to say and how they are saying it. Are they listening to you, and are they being respectful? Do you think that they will be honest will you, and how practiced are they? You may want to ask how long they have been in the field and whether they have treated someone like you before. In some cases, you may wish to see if they speak any other languages, especially if you are evaluating them for someone else. The more data you keep in mind, the better.

Take Notes

If you are interviewing several doctors, your natural inclination will be to choose the one that you last spoke with. To prevent this bias, take careful notes on each doctor, and compare them. This can help you make the right decision for you.

When you are comparing doctors, remember that the more information that you have, the better off you will be in the long run.

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