Finding the right medical specialist can be either easier with today’s technology, or harder depending on how you use it. The internet is not only the information superhighway, it is also the misinformation expressway. You need to have the ability to sort through what is true, what is false, and who is really the right doctor for you.
For instance, if you want to learn more about Thalassemia and find a medical doctor who specializes in its treatment, or even learn about possible clinical trials, you will need to consult a number of sources. Here are some ideas about how to find the right medical specialist.
Conduct a Specific Google Search
A Google search may seem like an odd place to start a search for the right medical specialist, but it can work very well for you if you know how to search on Google. You can’t just type in Thalassemia and expect to get the kind of results you are looking for. There are some vital things you need to include.
- Location: Do you want to find a specialist near you? Or are you willing to travel for treatment if need be?
- Specialty: You will want to narrow your search to doctors or even clinics or hospitals that focus on your condition or type of condition. Type in what, exactly, you are looking for.
- Ratings: You will want to arrange your search by ratings as well, from both a medical professional standpoint and that of patients.
The important thing to remember is that you can narrow your results by putting in a longer search string with more keywords in it. The more specific you are, the better results you will get from Google and other search engines.
Ask Your Doctor
It may seem like a no brainer, but with many insurance companies now, you don’t need a referral to go see a specialist. However, just because you don’t need one does not mean that you should not get one. Your doctor probably knows the medical community better than you will and may know of local specialists or where you can start to look for one.
The point is that it never hurts to ask your doctor. Usually they will give you at least a name or two to check out. If nothing else, your doctor can tell you what medical specialist you need to see, so that you are not researching the wrong kind of doctor to best deal with your condition.
Ask Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company wants you to get the most for your money, and they will often have a referral service or at least a provider directory. Not only does this give you a place to start, but you are also certain that the doctor takes your insurance as well.
it is helpful to know the type of specialist you need before you start searching with your insurance company and even have a few names you may have gathered from an internet search and talking to your doctor. Cross referencing this list can help you determine the right specialist for you.
Ask Your Friends
The best advertising for any medical professional is word of mouth, and the best way to find out how a doctor works is to talk to his patients. Your friends who have experienced the same issues you are may have already seen a doctor about it and may have an experience they can share.
While this may not tell you the whole story of the doctor’s medical prowess, it will let you know what his bedside manner is, how his staff interacts with patients, how well his billing department works with your insurance, and more.
No matter how good a doctor is, unless he is the only specialist you can see who meets your needs, if his office is difficult to deal with and adds stress to your life, or if he is rude to patients and their families, you will probably want to seek care elsewhere. Bedside manner and reduced stress are all important aspects of dealing with a specialist, so keep them in mind.
Even though not definitive, your friends can let you know what the outcome of their treatment was. Did they feel better when it was over, or did they need more treatment elsewhere? Did the treatment cure their issue, or just treat symptoms? This can help you decide if you really want to start with that doctor or look for help elsewhere.
Use an Online Service
Besides your doctor and your insurance company, there are actually online referral services that will help you find a specialist from the rarest disease to the most common. The good aspect of these types of services is that they are not tied to a certain insurance company or health system, so will often give you the most unbiased information about the doctor you should see.
Many of these services are free or come at a very low cost. One important thing to look at is who runs the service, and who pays for it. If the medical professional or clinic pays when you are connected to them, use some caution to make sure some physicians or clinics can’t simply pay a premium to get priority referrals.
The best online services are ones run by non-profits or that are a part of government websites that are not sponsored. These often curate the most honest reviews and are much tougher for the provider to influence in their favor.
Finding the right medical professional is tough, and when you are ill, it can be time consuming and exhausting. Use these give tips to find the right medical specialist for you, the one that can treat your condition with the best results. Your future self will thank you for doing your research ahead of time.