Tips for finding "Dr. Right" - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FOX 5 Medical Team

Tips for finding "Dr. Right"

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ATLANTA -

Many of us recently changed health insurance plans. And that usually means changing doctors. That's not always an easy transition. But, finding the right doctor for your needs is really critical.

So, how do you get started?

That's something 23-year old volunteer director Megan Lubben is trying to navigate. She suffers from allergies, and found Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic's Dr. Stanley Fineman because her father was a once patient at his Marietta clinic. Lubben likes Dr. Fineman's bedside manner. But now that she's working - and on her own – she says finding her own doctors has been a little challenging.

Lubben says, "I've kind of gone off my parent's recommendations growing up, and then once I became a young adult, I kind of tried a couple and realized, "Ugh, yeah, not so much," before I went off other friend's and peer recommendations."

So, how do you find the right doctor for you?

Web MD Chief Medical Editor Dr. Michael Smith, MD, says start by going online, and checking those websites that allow patients to rate their doctors. But Dr. Smith says keep in mind they may not tell you the whole story. He says, "People are more likely to complain than they are to praise. Start there.

You can also use family and friends. That is really the number one place you should turn to a physician in your area who is able to give you what you are looking for."

The feedback you get from friends, and even the physician-rating websites, can be subjective. So you may want to ask people whose personalities are similar to your own for their recommendations. A doctor may be a good fit for your friend, but not for you.

Other factors, like location, convenience, and office hours are also important to think about. When you visit a new doctor's office, check out how clean it is, how smoothly your appointment runs, and what your wait-time is? Does the office staff seem friendly? Do you feel comfortable with them? How much time does the physician spend with you?

Those are all important questions to think about before you make a decision.

That trial run visit can tell you a lot about whether a practice is a good fit for you.

Dr. Smith says, "There's nothing wrong with interviewing your doctor. Make an appointment, make sure you have a good rapport. Because your doctor relationship is absolutely important for you to get the best care for you."

Megan Lubben considers herself a "people person," so she really wants a doctor who makes her feel at-ease. She says she doesn't mind looking around for "Dr. Right" Her advice to others on the same search? "It just takes time, it just takes time to develop those things, So, just have patience, I guess."

Dr. Smith says don't be afraid to visit two – or even three – doctors before you decide. You'll have to make an appointment to "interview" the doctor. If you feel nervous, write down a list of questions you'd like to ask, so you won't forget.

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