Many times during my clinical practicing career as well as in my personal life I have been asked by people “how do you choose the right healthcare provider?”. Interestingly there is no one answer to this question. Everyone is different and because of this one practitioner’s approach whilst suited to one person may be the wrong for the next. Even word of mouth referrals do not always work out.
When asked this question I often asked one in return: “what are you looking for? Clinical Excellence, Good Bedside Manner, cost savings etc.”. Quite frequently finding a practitioner that meets all these traits is difficult if not impossible to find, those that have good bedside manner and great clinical skills are rarely the cheapest practitioners of their type, this is not to say that the most expensive is the best either.
The common theme when choosing the right practitioner is to be aware and informed of your decisions. Information is widely available on the internet about most health issues but it is hard to work out what is the truth or correct and what is misleading or even blatantly wrong. A good practitioner should always be happy to spend time with you to clarify the information that you have so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment. In turn you should be happy to pay them for this information, it is surprising how many people think that advice from a healthcare professional is not worth paying for and that only actual treatment should have a cost. The right information can save you time and money as well as the possible complications of having the wrong treatment.
Your natural instincts also should not be ignored, this means that when seeking treatment you should be completely comfortable about the proposed treatment, the practitioner and the practice at which you are having the treatment. Try not to assume anything and ask questions. If there are any doubts then make sure you clear these up before proceeding. A good practitioner will not be offended if you decide to have a second opinion. They are focused on your welfare and the more informed you are the more likely you will be to be satisfied after treatment.
In short, the answer to choosing the right healthcare practitioner is to seek information, do not be shy to ask questions you need answers for, seek second opinions if you need to, trust your instincts and that cost of treatment is rarely the best indicator as to whether a practitioner is the right one.
Dr Rick Luu, CEO and Founder