Even the healthiest of people confide in the care of a doctor every once in a while – and if they don’t, they should. But confiding in a doctor can be an intimate relationship. So how does one make sure they find the right M.D. for them?
Before I found my rheumatologist, Dr. Madeleine Feldman with The Rheumatology Group, I went through countless doctors who did not believe me when I told them something was off with my health. Through this process, and the multitude of doctors I saw (I lost count at five), I learned how to go into an appointment prepared and confident to ensure a positive outcome, whether I ultimately liked the doctor or not.
I think it’s important to remind people that it is okay to not like a doctor. Just because you have been referred to them, or because they have a bunch of letters after their name, does not mean that they are the right doctor for you. It’s okay to go to one appointment and decide to find someone new.
Ask your friends and family. Chances are, you are similar in personality to your friends and, at least a few, family members. They will be able to share what they like about their doctors and whether or not you will too.
Google It. The internet is a vast and magical place, use it to your advantage. Take the time to Google a new doctor, or even a current physician, and see what the rest of the world is saying about them. This is a great time to find if they have any malpractice suits or complaints held against them.
Play the field. Just because you go to one appointment does not mean you are stuck in a relationship with this new doctor. Get another opinion and interview other candidates.
Bring questions. Go into your appointment ready and armed with your questions. Not only health-related, but it’s also okay to ask them about themselves as well. In the days or weeks leading up to the appointment, jot down questions, comments or concerns you may have and take them with you.
Trust your gut. Ultimately, you know yourself better than anyone. If you aren’t feeling a connection with a doctor, or maybe a bad vibe or two, it’s time for a new candidate. You are the one with the health questions or concerns; if you don’t trust your medical professional you won’t get the help you truly need and deserve.