The knowledge of what lays ahead, the surgery, recovery, therapy, not to mention the pain, can be a little overwhelming. There are many decisions to make and probably one of the most important is choosing a doctor. Everyone wants a positive experience and choosing the right physician to handle a specific issue makes for a better outcome.
Consideration for finding an orthopedic surgeon
When making that first decision of what doctor to choose there are some key points to consider. Feeling at peace is a critical mindset to have when venturing into a somewhat unknown territory. Here are four tips for finding an orthopedic surgeon:
Ask your doctor for a referral
Orthopedics is a specialty. Your family physician and other general practitioners many have better insight into steering you towards an orthopedic surgeon with a sound reputation. Ask for a list of such doctors because that will be a good starting point. Not only is your family doctor an excellent resource for information but so are family and friends. Find out how their experience went. If they were comfortable with their choices of the physician, did he or she answer questions and how was the post care?
Many insurance companies have networks of only individual doctors. Find out if the physician you are considering is on the list. This will affect the out of pocket cost.
Background check on the credentials of the surgeon
Never finalize the surgeon without performing a thorough background check on his experience, education, medical degree, successful cases, etc. Check for their government-approved certification as well. This is your first key to finding the best orthopedic surgeon.
Do some of your research online
Many sites will identify board certification. Check under the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Medical Association. While searching be sure to review a surgeon’s certification and credentials. Within the specialty of orthopedics are other specialties. Hip, knee, back, and shoulders are just a few areas that require specific training. Your needs should be your physician’s area of expertise and experience.
Go for pre-surgery consultation
When you have your short list compiled to make an appointment for a consultation. A one on one meeting is going to tell you a whole lot. Ask questions, get a feel for his/her manners and personality and ask about the type of surgery options he/she would consider. This is the perfect time to find out answers.
Surgery is never a piece of cake but having a good doctor, with experience, knowledge, a good track record and positive patient skills are all pluses.