What makes a good doctor for our families ? Back in the old days, recommendations from people were enough to find a physician. Nowadays, with so many options at a click of a finger, it is hard to filter and decide where to take our kids and ourselves. Online databases are a double edged sword since they are always available and ready to use, but they can also be overwhelming. So, what should we focus on?

1. Convenience

The first thing to look at is convenience. Office location, availability, and emergency policy are essential factors for choosing a physician. For example, physicians should be available, meaning that appointments should be offered within reasonable time and should not be cut off by the doctor by taking a call or leaving the room.

Moreover, it is important that the doctor’s office is near your home in order to save time and travel expenses. As for emergencies, you should find out what the emergency policy of your physician or the organization he is affiliated to is. This is important for every situation, but especially for cases when your doctor is out of the town or unavailable.

2. Experience

The second thing to look at is experience. The idea behind it is that the broader the experience, the better trained the doctor will be. To check out experience, reviews from websites can be handy, such as angieslist.com, yelp.com, or doocloop.com, among others. Insurance providers’ websites can also help in this regard. Experience in a specific area must be weighed in by searching for a specialist when the situation calls for it.

Experience also entails reputation, professionalism, and attitude. Following this idea, it is important for the doctors to pay attention to their patients and actively listen to them. Ultimately, communication skills are of the essence both in listening and in talking. Making things clear with plain English should be taken into consideration, and so should a warm and positive attitude towards the patients and their families .

3. Cost considerations and Insurance

The third factor is related to cost and insurance. This basically refers to which types of doctors you can actually afford by means of a health insurance provider. Talking directly to customer service of the insurance provider to obtain information about what doctors are registered is a good idea.

4. Background and License Checks

Finally, one cannot be too careful while choosing a doctor and therefore should not rule out background and license checks. On the contrary, it is important to know more about the practitioner you are intending to trust your family with. A good option is to check the Washington State Department of Health website for licensing credentials.

In any case, finding a physician can be a difficult job. These guidelines will help you narrow down the search, but at the end of the day, it is a trial and error adventure. It is important to trust your doctor and feel comfortable with him or her, given that it can turn out to be a lifelong relationship.

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