When we were younger, our guardians made these sorts of medical care choices for us. It was a lot less stressful back then!
But now that you’re an adult, you need to look after your own medical care. For most people, this means being highly selective about the doctors they see.
Here’s a quick guide to finding the doctor who is right for you.
Your primary care doctor (or physician) is who will be attending to you the most. They focus more on preventative measures than they do fixing any serious issues. They can help with many common ailments. But they’re more likely to refer you to other doctors if the problem requires anything more than a diet change or a new prescription. Generally, they’re the one who will be seeing to your physical exam. (Which you’re hopefully taking at least 1-2 times a year!)
Try speaking to some of your friends in the area. They may have some good recommendations when it comes to a primary care physician. They may recommend a particular clinic if they want to keep specific healthcare information private!
This is actually one of the most common criteria found in choosing a doctor. Some people may be afraid to ask for recommendations based on the sex of the doctor. After all, isn’t that some sort of sexism? But the truth is that anything that makes you feel uncomfortable should be avoided in medical care. There are plenty of very understandable reasons why someone would prefer to see, for example, a female doctor instead of a male doctor.
People are more likely to have a preference regarding sex in this area when it comes to primary care physicians. When it comes to specialists, people tend to be less picky.
If you have a specific problem, then you may want to look for a specialist. Your primary care physician will be able to help with a variety of more common things. But many ailments will require you to see someone specializing in that area. For example, if you need consultation or treatment of cancer, you’ll want to be looking for the best cancer surgeon you can find.
Your primary care physician will usually make recommendations if you need to see a specialist. However, you should always check out these specialists yourself. Remember that this is your medical care! Your doctor won’t (or shouldn’t) be offended if you decide to look into other options and end up going with a different specialist.
Remember: you can fire your doctor!
Whoever you end up with, just remember that you can always fire a doctor you don’t like. Doctors have a responsibility to look after their patients to the best of their ability. If your doctor keeps you in the dark about things, or seems to rush through your consultations, or if they’re just plain rude? Then they’re not fulfilling that responsibility correctly.
If your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, you should replace them. Otherwise, you have to accept several risks of continuing to see a doctor when your relationship with them is unpleasant. One of those risks is that you end up not going to see them even when something is wrong!
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