5 Questions to Ask When Searching for a New Doctor

usman yousaf pTrhfmj2jDA unsplash

It’s not always easy finding the right doctor for your needs, but with a little research and some well-placed questions, you can find a physician who will be supportive and understanding. 

Let’s say you need elbow arthritis treatment in Warwick, Rhode Island, for example. Many people in Rhode Island have questions about which doctor to choose, and it’s worthwhile to research a few doctors’ professions and personalities before choosing one. Here are some questions to ask when you’re doing your research.

1. Is the Doctor Taking New Patients?

The first question you want is whether or not the doctor is taking new patients. Each physician is different, and some doctors don’t like to take on a full load of patients because it takes away from the quality of their care. If a doctor has a two-month waiting list and refuses to add more patients, that tells you a lot about how he views his practice.

Ask if the new patient receptionist can give you an idea about how long the average wait for an initial appointment is for new patients. The best way to learn if a doctor has time to take on another patient is by asking his staff or calling and talking directly with them. The time spent waiting for an appointment has been greatly reduced in the last few years. 

Joint pain treatment is so easy and effective that many people go to their doctor complaining of “arthritis.” This happens because some doctors are unaware of how to treat arthritis effectively and treat it as far more than a simple inflammation or inflammation.

2. Is the Doctor a Preferred Provider Under My Insurance Plan?

When you call your insurance provider, they will probably have a list of available places. Make sure that the doctor on the list is a preferred provider or one of the top choices for your plan. Having a big choice of doctors won’t always be beneficial, especially if you choose poorly.

Also, some insurance companies let patients choose their primary care physician, and then they are automatically enrolled in the insurer’s preferred network. Patients can learn more about this type of policy during their annual open enrollment or through direct contact with their insurer’s representative.

3. Does the Doctor Accept Medicare?

If you’re on Medicare, the answer to this question is more important than other types of insurance because fewer doctors accept it. Once you know that the doctor does accept Medicare, you can call for more details about what plans are accepted and how many patients the physician currently has.

According to a recent study, the number of doctors taking Medicare continues to decline, and many privately-insured patients are finding physicians who will accept their plan. 

4. Is the Doctor Board Certified?

It’s important to know that the physician you’re considering has been through a training program and has passed a test to become board certified. The two most prestigious certifications are obstetrics and family medicine, but many others include internal medicine and pediatrics. 

A board-certified doctor went through an extensive education process to reach this point in their career, so you can rest assured that they have the skills and experience needed for your situation.

5. What Days or Hours Does the Doctor See Patients?

This question is essential if you have a hectic life or only have time on certain days or at certain times. You don’t want to take your time getting to an appointment and find that the office is closed or that the doctor isn’t available on the day you called.

national cancer institute L8tWZT4CcVQ unsplash

It’s best to call and ask if possible so that you can get this information before making a special trip to the doctor’s office. If you show up in person, take a copy of the time that you called so that you can prove your case when there’s a discrepancy about what was said over the phone.

Remember that choosing a doctor should put your health and well-being first. If your primary care physician cannot provide the level of care you need, it’s okay to move on to someone else. While some doctors don’t mind taking on more patients than they can handle, it’s better to find one who will give you their full attention and has the time to help your specific situation.