How do you pick a great doctor?
Back when I was a kid, if you wanted a specialist such as a plastic surgeon, you had a choice of maybe two in a 100 mile radius from my small home town. Now I live in Cleveland, and last time I checked, there were over 50 plastic surgeons within only 50 miles. Online reviews and sites like Angie’s List certainly give you some information. Who your insurance covers will narrow things down as well.
Below is my top 5 list of things to look for in a Plastic Surgeon, or really any type of surgeon. Please notice that price is not anywhere on this list- I’ve found that unless you’re going someone who has really become famous for one particular type of procedure, Plastic Surgeons tend to price themselves pretty similarly within a given market. Board certification is also not on this list- that is a complicated topic which I plan to write a dedicated post on later.
1) Make sure you feel comfortable with the doctor. Sometimes your personalities don’t jive. Sometimes you just get a bad vibe. A surgeon is someone you’re entrusting your health, and your physical appearance to, and it’s critical that you feel comfortable sharing your worries and concerns with this person.
2) Ask how hard it is to get in touch with your doctor if you have a concern. If you’re worried about something in the middle of the night after surgery, who do you call? And more importantly, who will you end up talking to on the other end of the line? It’s good to know if the doctor shares the duty of answering midnight calls with other physicians in his or her office, because you may end up talking to someone only vaguely familiar with your history and problems.
3) How often will the surgeon see you after your surgery or procedure, and for how long? Will the frequency of visits leave you feeling well taken care of?
4) Does your surgeon have experience in the type of procedure you want? Ask how many he or she has done, and don’t be shy about asking to see pictures.
5) Finally, does your surgeon explain things in a way you can understand? Medicine can get very technical, and your ability to make good decisions about your health care is completely dependent on how well you understand what’s going on. Some doctors are great at explaining things, others not so much. Even if you’ve read up on the operation or procedure you’re having before hand, you want someone who can explain any complications or bumps in the road in language you can understand.
Do you have any tips for picking a great doctor?
Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.