How to select a Right doctor

The health care industry is booming because people have just stopped living healthy lifestyles. Today, people’s diet is all about Cokes and burgers, while the amount of physical activity that an average urban person gets by changing channels on their TV remotes. It’s become more important than ever to have a reliable right doctor on speed dial who can look after your primary health care without costing you thousands of rupees in one go.

But how does one even begin to search for a good doctor? Doctors are everywhere today and there’s no guarantee that an expensive one would be a good one. Here are a few pointers which might help you narrow down your selection process –

  • Do you have a medical insurance policy? If yes then try and find a doctor who’s willing to work with your insurance. Your primary concern here is to find a right doctor — distance, timing and everything else takes a back seat.
  • Ask for recommendations from people you trust — relatives, friends or colleagues. Also ask around to see if someone knows someone who was infected with some disease or recently had a surgery and is all praise for the doctor.
  • The location is important. If you are required to go for weekly checkups, then travelling 15 km one way is going to be prove to be hectic (and expensive) for you. Choose a location which is close by and either has parking space or is easily reachable through public transport.
  • Who will the doctor’s substitute be in case they decide to go away on a personal errand? You must know who will be in charge of your primary health care.
  • Find out the average wait time for an appointment after you call. Ask if same-day appointments are entertained in case of emergencies.
  • What are the routine lab tests and studies done by the doctor? Are they done in-house or do you have to visit an outside lab for the tests?
  • If you call with a question about your care, does a doctor or nurse return the call promptly?
  • Does the doctor often refer you to specialists or do they often manage their patients’ problems on their own?
  • Understand the area of problems that you have and then narrow down to the type of doctor you want to visit. You cannot discuss skin problems with a gynaecologist the same way you cannot discuss a urethra infection with a dermatologist. Primary health care doctors can be of various types — general practice, internal medicine, family practice etc

After you’ve narrowed down to a few doctors from your huge list of potential candidates, go and give them a surprise visit. See how their office/hospital looks when people visit unannounced. Is the hygiene maintained? Is the staff courteous and helpful? How quick are they to respond to your queries? After you’ve made a surprise inspection and are satisfied, make an appointment and speak directly with your doctor. Try to understand (and ask questions) about the scenario of the Indian health care industry, the medicines and treatments available for your problems, along with the questions that we’ve already mentioned above.

Hope this article will prove to be valuable for you to help you gather information when making your right decision.

Advisor Healthcare aims to connect patients with the right doctors from anywhere and anytime using the digital communication. Know More

Originally published at on July 1, 2015.

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