Living With Disease? How to Choose the Most Experienced Specialized Doctor
Knowing you have a medical condition you must live with can be frightening and exhausting. It can affect all areas of your life. Because of this, you need to have a doctor you trust who specializes in treating the type of condition you have. Here’s how you can find and choose one.
Consider Which Specialists Are In Your Insurance Network
As much as patients wish they could see any doctor they want and have the visit and any testing fully covered by their insurance, it unfortunately isn’t that easy. Most patients are not going to be able to afford to see a specialist regularly unless that doctor is in their network. Your insurance company likely has a search function that allows you to look for specialists nearby who are in your network, who you can then research further. That being said, you can, and perhaps should, consider going out of network to receive the best care.
Look Outside Your Hometown
Unfortunately, many people do not live in areas where they have easy access to specialists. Even if you live in a larger city, there may only be a couple of specialists for you to choose from. If need be, you should consider looking for specialists in other areas. This has become more feasible thanks to virtual doctor visits, where routine check-ins can be done remotely to prevent the need to travel long distances. If the most experienced specialist in helping treat your condition operates out of another city, you can visit them in-person occasionally while having them coordinate with your regular care team otherwise.
Verify Their License
You should do your research to ensure any specialist you are considering is both licensed and qualified to treat your condition. You can use databases maintained by professional organizations such as the American Board of Medical Specialties or state licensing boards. Other databases can serve as a physician license verification solution. Most databases will tell you what conditions a specialist is particularly experienced in treating.
Experience and credentials alone are not the only factors you should consider when deciding on a specialist. You also want a doctor you feel comfortable with, who speaks your language and works with you, not against you, to manage your medical condition. This is why it is important to make an appointment to go in and see any specialist you are considering in person. There is no shame in continuing to look if you don’t like your experience during your first visit.
Finding a specialist can be challenging, especially in certain areas. It can be even more challenging to find one that has experience treating your condition and that you like personally. Keep looking until you find the right match-it can make all the difference in the world.