Finding great doctors

Recently I’ve been getting health checkups and establishing relationships with a bunch of new doctors. During the process, I’ve realized the way people choose doctors doesn’t make much sense at all. Most people get a recommendation from a friend or relative for a primary care physician or a specialist. Once they like that doctor, they ask him/her for referrals to other specialist, etc. Just because the doctor is nice and we “like” him/her, it doesn’t mean they are really good at what they do.

In my situation, I’m very lucky. My friend and neighbor is a respected emergency medicine doctor. She has given me a couple of great referrals to wonderful doctors. These doctors have also given me some referrals to doctors that they respect as well. In short, I’m slowly building a team of some of the best doctors in the Bay Area. What do I mean by “the best doctors”? I think the best doctors are not only good with their patients, but they are highly respected by esteemed members of the medical community and their CV is impressive. When I look through a MD’s CV, I want to be blown away. For example, my ophthalmologist’s work is ridiculously impressive and she continues to publish.

With that said, my situation is ideal. I don’t have any life threatening illnesses that need quick attention and I have some solid referrals to build upon. I have the time and information to get the best doctors.

How much do most people know about their doctors? How come most people know more about a candidate for an administrative assistant position at their company than their own doctor? We review the resume of someone who will simply answer phones but we don’t review the CV of the person our life is in the hands of. Why don’t doctors make their CV readily available? There are a couple of pay sites that supposedly have detailed information about physicians but isn’t this information important enough that it should be open and free?

  • E. Goh Aug 13, 2006, 11:44 am

    Carmen,

    You’re absolutely right. If you have an acute issue, the most important thing it finding a doctor quickly and hopefully one that takes your insurance. In California, most doctors take the most popular PPO’s so I haven’t seen too many problems. HMO’s are a whole other issue. If you have a choice in your insurance coverage, try to get covered by a popular PPO in your area.

    But you’re right, choosing the best doctors for you also includes taking insurance into account. Lots of variables that makes choosing quite difficult.

    Eric

  • Carm Aug 12, 2006, 10:10 am

    It doesn’t matter where the doctor comes from if you need immediate medical attention and cannot find a doctor that would take your insurance. I think sometimes it is our health insurance that prevents us from finding the best medical care, especially if you cannot pay for the expenses yourself.