When seeking professional medical advice, it is customary for most people to ask for recommendations from their family, relatives, friends or co-workers. They believed that these recommended medical specialists have already proven their experience and practices in treating diseases, performing surgeries, and prescribing therapeutic medicines. However, let us be sceptic about our health because the treatment of the doctor to your relative or friend, may not work on your condition. Treatments vary on a case to case basis. That’s why it is essential to have positive step by step procedures in choosing the best doctor that can treat your health issues.

According to Dr Val Jones, Admissions - Medical Director and Physiatrist at St. Luke’s Rehab Institute in Washington, there’s a list of steps in searching for the best doctor that can appropriately treat your health situation. Here are the practical steps that you should consider as follows:

1. What kind of doctor do you need?

In selecting the best medical specialist, you should consider their specialisation, age, gender, background, accessibility, and availability of their schedules. Sometimes, the most intelligent doctor may not be able to respond to your inquiries due to the strict schedule. As a patient, you must be treated urgently to cure your ailments as soon as possible.

You need to search also a specific and appropriate doctor that can treat your health condition. For instance, if you have a heart problem, you should seek a cardiologist. If you have a baby and it needs to be treated for some illnesses, you should find a paediatrician.

2. What are the health specialisations of the doctors around your area?

When it comes to the availability and accessibility of the doctors, it is essential to know the whereabouts of the medical experts around your area. Diseases and other severe health conditions can happen anytime, so it is practical to search for a doctor near to your place.

You should maintain a checklist or contact numbers of the doctors within your vicinity so that you can call them right away in case of any emergencies. If the doctor’s phone number was out-of-reach at the moment, you should at least keep several the clinic or hospital for additional references.

How will you know the different clinics, hospitals, or doctors near to your place? By visiting the xerox site, you will have the reliable contacts and addresses of these health institutions and medical experts that you can use for emergency or appointment purposes.

3. What are your preferences as a patient?

As a patient, we should exercise our rights in getting a comfortable room, claiming our health insurance, and asking for a professional doctor to treat our health conditions. In some cases, if the patient is a woman, they will likely request for a woman doctor then vice versa.

Some patients are also requesting doctors affiliated with the hospital so that whenever there are issues, the doctor can immediately take action. Moreover, you should choose a clinic, hospital, or doctor that accepts health insurance up to a maximum claimable amount so that you don’t need to pay for the entire bill.

4. What is the doctors’ background?

Narrow down your list of preferred doctors by checking their backgrounds. You may read their bio-data, working experience, treatments, ratings, awards, and lifestyle so that you will have an idea regarding their expertise and attitude towards their patient.

You can visit the clinic, hospital, or medical specialist website to have access to their biographies. You may also visit some sites that provide comments, recommendations, or discussions about these doctors. There are plenty of ways how to research and study the profile of these doctors.

5. How to make an appointment and assess their responsiveness?

Most of the time, the contacts of the doctors were displayed on their websites or social media accounts. You can try assessing their responsiveness by emailing them or calling their number. If they will answer the call promptly or respond to your email within 24 hours, it only means that they’re responsive to calls and emails. It also signifies that the doctor is interested and concerned about the patient requesting an appointment or medical attention.

6. Visit your doctor

If the doctor had already affirmed your appointment request, you might now go to his or her place to visit the clinic or hospital. You will further assess the doctor’s expertise the way he or she answers the questions, treat your health condition, prescribe medical solutions, and offer you a fast way to recover from your disease or disorder.

A doctor should know how to show empathy and concern to you as his or her patient. In this way, the doctor will get the trust of the patient, and it will be a life-long relationship for them as far as health is concerned. If you have a mutual connection with the doctor, he or she will always prioritise you and ask him or her to be your personal or family doctor.

7. Consult for a second opinion

A second opinion is an act of verifying the medical treatments and laboratory tests performed on the patient. Sometimes, if the patient is aware that the hospital or clinic does not have the latest medical technology to determine his or her condition, he or she may likely seek a second opinion.

There’s nothing wrong with consulting for a second opinion. It does not make the doctor less professional than the other, it is just a matter of assurance and securing your health as an individual. For some cases, this approach is most applicable to patients with severe or chronic diseases.