What to do before 2022: Finding the right doctor

Jeff Dew
Chief Executive Officer, Gastrointestinal Associates, P.C.

We’re introducing a three-part series about some healthcare-related topics to think about as we wind down the year and prepare for 2022. If you are looking for a new doctor or specialist, this post offers some helpful tips to pursue that endeavor. We’ll follow by sharing more about your gut health, including planning for a screening colonoscopy, and wrap up with some things to consider about insurance – especially if you expect changes next year.

Finding the right doctor
Provider-patient relationships often are long-term and cover the ups and downs related to intimate medical care for conditions that can be both concerning and confusing. When choosing a doctor or specialist, it is important to find a provider that fits your needs to ensure the best outcomes. So, where do you start? Here are some helpful tips and things to consider when choosing a doctor, specialist or healthcare provider.   

Get recommendations. If you are looking for a primary care provider, ask friends and family members about their doctor and find reputable websites for provider reviews. If you’re looking for a specialist, consult your primary care provider who often has a network of contacts and can give valuable insight for things that you may not initially consider. That provider also can provide a referral and may even help you make an appointment. 

Look for credentials. A simple online search can help you ascertain certifications and memberships of healthcare providers. For example, many gastroenterologists are board certified by reputable certification organizations such as the American Board of Internal Medicine, which has a specific gastroenterology certification.

Consider your insurance. It is important to do the needed research to see if the provider or specialist is covered within your plan’s network to minimize out-of-pocket costs or understand beforehand what services are covered and if you need a referral. We’ll delve deeper in this topic as this series continues.

Learn what services are provided. Some practices offer services that are performed in-house – meaning they have equipment and specialized staff to handle tests, X-rays or procedures without the need to visit another facility or provider. Third-party providers are not unusual but consider what services would be most convenient to have at your provider’s office and what will work best for you. At Gastrointestinal Associates, our three licensed and certified endoscopic ambulatory surgery centers provide a wide spectrum of services, conveniently managed at our three locations.

Choosing a healthcare provider is an important decision with several factors to consider. It is worth the effort to ask questions – and no question is too small! From personality preference to medical training and from levels of care to proximity to your home – being armed with knowledge when choosing a healthcare provider can help improve your medical care experience.

GIA has been leading the way in gastroenterology since 1971, specializing in comprehensive digestive system care. We’re here to help guide you and are committed to making your health a top priority by achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients. Visit gihealthcare.com today to learn more. Watch for the next two installments in this three-part series. Next up: What to do before 2022: Plan for your colonoscopy.