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I always go by the old adage "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client". The message behind this saying is also true for many other professions, including doctors. We don’t often think of the fact that doctors must seek other doctor’s opinions and expertise for their medical ailments and that they don’t perform their own medical exams simply because they have the knowledge to do so. Nevertheless, while I might not want to represent myself, and a doctor doesn’t want to do their own medical exams, we still have specific knowledge of the profession that those outside of it don’t.

That being said, finding the best doctor can be difficult for anyone. You want to make sure that you pick someone knowledgeable, yet compassionate, as well as someone who is a good listener. Why not take the doctor’s words for it and learn what they look for when picking a doctor? The following five tips can help you find the best doctor, too:

  • Pick someone with knowledge of the latest research. It doesn’t matter what school they graduated from, but pick someone who is up-to-date with the latest medical research. Typically, doctors working at university hospitals that conduct research on a regular basis are current with the most cutting-edge studies.
  • Make sure they have proper certification and a clean record. This is easy information to obtain these days as we can retrieve most anything from the Internet. You should be able to check if your doctor is board certified and licensed by the state in which they currently practice. Also, check your doctor’s malpractice history by contacting the state medical board.
  • Pick someone with good communication skills. You want a doctor who listens carefully to you without interruptions, as well as someone who is comfortable admitting when they don’t know something. In addition, your doctor should be responsive to your requests–if you ask for your test results, they should send them to you.
  • Make sure your doctor has their own healthy habits. If you’re visiting a dermatologist, for example, they probably shouldn’t have a tan. You want to make sure you’re seeing someone who practices what they preach. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if they’ve scrubbed up before seeing you, too.
  • A staff that is there to help your doctor. No matter how great the doctor, if they have an office that’s a zoo with long waiting times, then you probably don’t want to go there anymore. You deserve to see your doctor in at an efficiently-run office where waiting times are appropriate.

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