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 these recommended medical specialists had already proven their experience and practices in treating diseases, performing surgeries, and prescribing therapeutic medicines. However, let us be skeptical about our health because the doctor's treatment for 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 to 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 specialization, age, gender, background, accessibility, and availability of their schedules. You must be treated urgently as a patient to cure your ailments as soon as possible. Sometimes, the most intelligent doctor may be unable to respond to your inquiries due to the strict schedule.

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

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

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

You should maintain a checklist or contact numbers of the nearby doctors so that you can call them immediately in case of emergencies. If the doctor's phone number was out-of-reach, you should keep several clinics or hospitals for additional references.

How will you know the clinics, hospitals, or doctors near 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 emergencies or appointments.

3. What are your preferences as a patient?

Patients should exercise their rights by getting a comfortable room, claiming their health insurance, and asking for a professional doctor to treat their health conditions. Sometimes, if the patient is a woman, they will likely request a woman doctor, and vice versa.

Some patients also request doctors affiliated with the hospital so that the doctor can immediately take action whenever there are issues. 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 the entire bill.

4. What is the doctor's 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 know their expertise and attitude toward their patient.

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

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

Most of the time, the doctors' contacts are displayed on their websites or social media accounts. You can assess their responsiveness by emailing them or calling their number. If they will answer call promptly or respond to your email within 24 hours, it only means that they'sponsive for 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 has 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 in how he or answering the questions, treats the condition, prescribes solutions, and offers ways to recover from your disease or disorder.

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

7. Consult for a second opinion

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

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. In some cases, this approach is most applicable to patients with severe or chronic diseases.