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Doctor Search

Unlike picking a mechanic, conducting a doctor search can mean the difference between staying healthy and bad medical advice. In fact, the most important part of the doctor search is finding a doctor you can trust. But before you can gage whether you have found a doctor you can trust, you will have to narrow down the prospects.

The first step is to get a list of doctors that are approved by your medical insurance. Some insurance won't limit your choices of doctors, but a lot of them have a list of doctors they do business with. Your employer or your plan provider should supply you with this list. Large insurance companies such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield even provide an online directory to make your doctor search even easier.

Next, you have to decide what kind of doctor you are searching for. For instance, those who are perform a doctor search because they are pregnant need to decide whether they want an obstetrician, general practitioner, family physician or mid wife. Those individuals searching for their regular doctors may need to decide whether they want a family practitioner to look after the entire family of if they want to send the kids to a pediatrician.

The next step is to look up the doctor with your state's medical board. Many states have an online lookup service that will allow you to make sure that the doctor is licensed. This site may also list any medical malpractice information that you should know about the doctor including times when the doctor had his license suspended.

Another piece of information that may be valuable during a doctor search is how often the doctor will actually see you. Some small towns have offices where the doctor is only their a couple times a week. The rest of the time you are seen by a physician's assistant that is not actually a doctor, but usually has a lot of experience. You may also want to find out what hours the office is open for. This is of particular importance to working individuals who may want to schedule appointments after or before work.

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