Finding the right doctor is important. This is true no matter what type of doctor you need. It is particularly true, given the intensely personal and intimate nature of the exams, when you’re trying to find a gynecologist. In this article we are going to teach you how to make sure you find the right doctor for your needs.
What Are Your Goals
If your primary goal right now is a “simple” well woman exam, you might be able to get this from your regular doctor. If you’re hoping to get pregnant soon or you’re worried about fertility issues or menopause, though, you’ll want to start searching for someone who can walk you through the entire process.
What Qualities Do You Want in Your Doctor?
Make a list of the type of qualities you want your doctor to possess. For example, do you want someone who is warmer and will coddle you and sugar coat things a little bit or are you more comfortable with doctors who stick only to the facts and tell them to you straight? Do you prefer a female doctor? Many women do. Do you want someone your own age? Older? Would you feel comfortable with someone younger? Do you want your doctor to subscribe to any particular philosophy? This isn’t something you usually have to think about with other types of doctors, but it can be very important when it comes to discussing reproductive rights and options.
Many women feel more comfortable working with the doctor they know will be delivering their babies (once those babies are conceived). Does this sound like you? Or would you feel fine working with an office in which doctors rotate between patients and appointments? Some women prefer to get all their services from the same doctor. David Ghozland, M.D., for example, offers patient services for pregnancy care, gynecology, menopause, infertility, and even surgery.
Talk to Your Regular Doctor
The first person you should talk to, when you’re ready to start searching for a gynecologist or reproductive specialist, is your general practitioner. Yep, even if your insurance doesn’t require you to get the referral, it’s good to check in with your GP. Your GP already knows you and is familiar with your medical history and personal situations. He or she will be able to help you find a doctor who can help you with your goals and who will work well with you on a personal level. Even if he or she doesn’t know anybody out of hand, they might be able to track down a good referral or two for you.
Talk to Your Friends
Your friends know you. They also will likely be far more candid with you than your GP (who has to worry about reputation protection) about who is good and who isn’t. Friends are a great source of dirt–you’ll likely find out more about which gynecologists you should avoid than which ones are good.
Background Checking Is Important
There are so many people out there who claim to be experts but who are not–especially in very sensitive specialties like fertility.
It is also important to actually check into your potential doctors’ board certifications, educational and professional training. It is also a good idea to do some digging and find out whether any complaints have been filed against a potential doctor with the medical board or even with your city. Look for independent reviews online.
Go In for a Meeting
It is always a good idea to have a sit down meeting with a potential doctor before allowing him or her to examine you. There is nothing more awkward than a total stranger probing around in your most intimate places. Ask for an initial consultation so that you can get a feel (pardon the pun) for how he or she works with patients. It is important to feel comfortable with a doctor on a personal level. If you feel any hesitation or get a bad feeling during your initial sit-down or if the doctor insists on your consenting to a physical exam right away, this is a bad sign. Move on to someone new!
These are just some of the important parts of finding a new doctor. Have you had to hire a new “lady parts” doctor recently? How did you go about it?