There are a number of things you shouldn’t skimp on, and your healthcare is one of those. As the saying goes, your health is your wealth. Without it, you have nothing. The greatest gift is good health, and that means you have every right to be – and indeed need to be – picky when it comes to choosing the right provider.
Rather than going along with the doctor who is automatically assigned to you, go through your checklist to see if they tick the boxes. Here are some of the things you should look out for.
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1. Consider Your Exact Needs
Chances are, if you’re in need of a specialist, you will automatically be assigned one as opposed to a general practitioner. If you haven’t been assigned one, make sure you ask for one. Not only will having a specialist as your primary contact expose you to the best and most up-to-date information about your condition, but it will also reduce the chances of confusion and lost notes. At the same time, you will save time by being able to ask the expert directly instead of having to wait for a question and answer to be relayed through a network of people.
There are many types of specialists, including spinal injury specialists, cardiologists, dermatologists, neurologists, oncologists and podiatrists. No matter how serious your problem is, it’s always worth asking for access to a specialist. For example, if you suffer with psoriasis or cystic acne, it can often be far more beneficial to speak directly to a dermatologist as they specialise in such conditions and may be offer to help that general practitioners can’t.
In contrast, if you don’t have any specific needs and are looking for a general doctor, you will need to think more about the following points rather than your exact needs.
In theory, healthcare providers should provide ready access to everyone in every circumstance, but some are better at it than others. For physically disabled people, they will want to look at the wheelchair access at the medical centre. If you’re deaf, you’ll want to ensure your doctor is either equipped to communicate through sign language, or that the medical centre has a sign language interpreter who can be present at appointments, and not just part time. You are entitled to fair and accessible treatment at all times, not just certain days of the week. Health is unpredictable, so your surgery needs to be ready to see you and cater to your needs at all times.
The same goes for blind people, as well as those who need a language interpreter.
3. Communication and Rapport
For most people, the most important part of finding a new doctor is finding someone they can trust and communicate effectively with. In this case, it’s of utmost importance that you pay close attention to how your prospective doctor presents themself to you and whether you will get along. Some people find their doctors to be too dismissive, whilst others find that they’re not friendly or approachable. When it comes to receiving healthcare, it’s essential that you feel like you can trust the person who will be administering your care and that you can confidently go to them with any issue you’re facing.
The last thing you want is to feel like your doctor doesn’t care or listen to you, so make sure you establish a positive rapport before deciding on which doctor to go with.
When choosing a new doctor, don’t be afraid to ask the questions above and any others you might have. It’s a big decision to make, and every doctor worth their salt will appreciate your hesitancy in making your choice.