The field of medicine today is exceptionally complex. The rate at which new discoveries and new treatments are being published is overwhelming, even for physicians. As a result, physicians are specializing in ever more narrow medical niches. This means that almost everyone will need to consult with a medical specialist at least once in a lifetime.
If you find yourself or a loved one in the hospital and in need of a specialist, you will have to accept the doctor on duty. On the other hand, if you have a long-term or non-emergency medical problem you will have time to make a selection. If you have the time to search for the best specialist for your needs it is very important to choose one that you are comfortable with, and who will remain available for many years, if need be jitendra swarup.
Most people begin with a referral from their primary care physician. Indeed, many managed care insurers require that patients obtain specialist referrals from their PCP. This is a good place to start, but you are not limited to accepting the name of one physician from your PCP. It is smart to do a little additional research.
Call the closest medical school and ask for the names of two or three physicians who specialize in your condition and who are actively treating patients. Some medical school physicians are involved in research and teaching, but they do not maintain a private practice.
Also contact the closest local office of a related support group or “condition” organization such as the American Diabetes Association, the Parkinson’s Disease Association, or the National Kidney Foundation. Ask for the names of specialists they consult with.
Once you have collected a few likely names it’s time to do a little additional research. You will want to identify which hospital each doctor visits. You will also want to know whether the doctor maintains more than one office, and how often he or she sees patients in the office most convenient to you. If your medical condition is one that will require you to see several specialists, are all of the specialists located in the same area? You may want to know if the doctor participates in clinical trials. And, of course, you will want to know whether the doctor participates in your particular medical insurance plan.