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Finding a Medical Specialist

Whether it is an injury beyond a bruise or a routine checkup with less than positive results, there may be a time when your primary care physician refers you to a medical specialist.  Seeing a specialist may feel like a complicated experience, but a little extra preparation up front as a patient will go a long way in your quality of care.

Ask for a pre-appointment phone call. Finding a medical specialist that is the correct fit for you takes some research and a little bit more time, but is an important step when referred from your primary care physician. Any specialist who is worth meeting for an appointment will be accommodating and appreciate that you are taking an active role in your treatment.

Questions to ask your primary care physician about a potential medical specialist:

  • Why is this specialist their first choice for your care?
  • Do they have a second medical specialist as a recommendation?
  • How long have they had a relationship with this physician?

Questions to ask a potential medical specialist:

  • How many years have you been in practice and what board certifications do you have?
  • What is your treatment style like? Will you be hands on in my care and follow up frequently, or will it be a limited number of visits?
  • How have you treated patients like me in the past and what was their progress like?
  • How will you communicate my progress with my primary care physician?

Asking the right questions will help you get the information you need about your referral, and also help start your relationship. Your treatment plan, your physician’s demeanor, and the connection you feel are all important parts of your health journey. You should feel comfortable moving forward with your referral. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your primary care physician for a different referral or for a second opinion.

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Find a Medical Specialist