When it comes to selecting a healthcare provider, be sure to first get clarity with yourself about what characteristics are most important to helping you create a positive healthcare experience. By starting there, you will be more likely to find someone who meets your needs.

Once you are ready, consider these ideas to help you in your search:

1. Get referrals from others, including other doctors. You can ask a specialist about general practitioners, and vice versa.
2. Call the office of a prospective doctor and ask to speak to the office manager about their policies and procedures. Ask the office manager the following questions:
1. How long are the doctor’s appointments scheduled for?
2. What are the different types or classifications of appointments?
3. Does your office double book appointments for this doctor?
4. Does this doctor accept work-in appointments for ill patients?
5. What types of insurance are accepted, and what are the billing policies?
6. What is the doctor’s schedule? How available is she?
7. What are the policies are regarding contacting the doctor? How quickly does the staff get messages to him? How quickly does the office respond to messages?

Be sure to get answers to your most important questions before making a decision, and you can always make changes down the road.

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