Choosing the right doctor can be a complicated process. It is important to research your options before making your final choice. Many people begin by asking their friends, family, or coworkers. Recommendations from people that you trust could be a good beginning, but those recommendations should also take into consideration any specific health concerns or needs you might have. You should also be sure that any doctors you are considering are board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology.
Once you’ve begun a list of potential doctors, you should also consider your insurance coverage. It is important to be sure your provider will cover the claims submitted by your doctor. Many insurance companies offer a list of doctors covered within their plan, and this list can help you to further narrow your own choices. If your search is for a specialist like an OB/GYN it will be even more important to confirm insurance coverage. If your insurance restrictions negate the recommendations you’ve received, you should ask your current health care providers for their opinions concerning doctors covered by your insurance.
A final list of potential doctors should take into consideration your personal concerns or preferences. Consider whether you would prefer a doctor of a particular gender, background, or age. Many women would be most comfortable with a female OB/GYN. You should also be sure to research any special needs you might have. Women with medical difficulties, high-risk pregnancies, or a family history of any of the above should look for physicians with the appropriate credentials to address their particular needs. Especially during pregnancy, you will be seeing your OB/GYN on a regular basis.
You should think about logistics like distance, traffic, and office hours to be sure that the office will be amenable to your needs. Smaller concerns may include the cleanliness of the office, the kindness of the receptionists, and the comfort of the waiting room. Most offices offer reasonably comfortable areas complete with reading materials, and some even offer small play areas for women who may have children accompanying them to appointments. If you think you will need to bring children to your appointments, you should specifically ask about the office policy, as some offices do not allow children into exam rooms without another adult to supervise them.
Many doctors will allow you to schedule a consultation visit in order to meet face-to-face and discuss your major concerns. An in-person meeting should be the final step to choosing the right OB/GYN.
Just like any other relationship, you should feel comfortable and relaxed with your OB/GYN. Your doctor should encourage you to ask questions and should be your partner in maintaining your best health.
The initial phone call to schedule this appointment may also be an important tool, because the attitudes of the staff may be enough to add or subtract a potential doctor from your list of considerations. The size of the practice may also have an effect on your final decision. Many OB/GYN offices are quite large, and there is no way to guarantee you will be able to see the same doctor every time. If this is important to you, you should consider either choosing a small practice or a doctor who guarantees physician visits every time, like this Edwardsville, IL OB/GYN. Advanced scheduling may also help you to secure the best days or times for your needs. Most OB/GYN offices also have affiliations with specific hospitals.
If you have a strong preference for one hospital over another, you should be sure that your chosen practice is affiliated with your preferred hospital. In the event of an emergency, surgery, or the delivery of a baby, you will not be able to see your doctor unless you go to the hospital they work with, so you will want to be as comfortable with the hospital as you are with your choice of doctor. Especially in the case of medical issues or planned pregnancies, you should be sure to ask about the cost.
Financial requirements can vary greatly from one office to another, so a patient with monetary concerns should ask for a clear and concise explanation of costs for regular office visits, special visits, and any larger procedures. Pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant should receive a complete breakdown of the cost for visits, medications, necessary testing, and delivery and hospital charges. If you are sure that pregnancy is no longer a concern for you, you may consider choosing a doctor who is solely a gynecologist, and may therefore have fewer patients to see. This can make appointment scheduling easier, and give you more face-to-face time during your office visits.
Your OB/GYN should never make you feel pressured about your own choices. It is important that you choose a doctor who will let you be your own advocate, one who will work with your choices, beliefs, and preferences instead of attempting to impose their own. If you have strong feelings about any particular issues, it is important to discuss them right away with your doctor to be sure you are in agreement. Your OB/GYN should be there to support you and advise you on the best ways to take care of yourself. You should be able to ask sensitive questions, make major decisions, and come to solid conclusions with the support of your doctor.
An OB/GYN is responsible for guiding a woman through some of the most important transitions of her life: menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause. The importance of these transitions can make the process of finding the right provider seem overwhelming, but you should keep in mind that you can always choose another OB/GYN if your original choice turns out to be less than ideal. However, before you move on to another practice, you should discuss your concerns with your current doctor. Sometimes the problem is simply one of communication.
In the end, choosing the right obstetrician and/or gynecologist is an extremely personal choice. Only you can be sure that you’ve made the right decision, and you should trust your instincts when making the final choice.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.