Choosing a Surgeon: What’s Best for You?

DrJohnsonChoosing a surgeon is very important considering that in many cases, he or she will literally have your life in their hands. Making sure that you have good communication, trust in the doctor’s ability, and accessibility/availability is key to finding the right surgeon for you.

Communication

No matter how well qualified your doctor may be, you will not have a good experience if you cannot effectively communicate your concerns and get an adequate response. Most patients need a doctor willing and able to spend time discussing their concerns. Do you feel like your doctor answers all your questions? Does he/she provide information in a way that you understand? Do you feel comfortable asking all of the questions you have?

Competency

Ask your doctor how often he/she performs the surgery you are having done. Most often you will not need to find someone who just performs your procedure, but you also don’t want a surgeon who has never performed the procedure you are having. Look for a doctor who regularly performs your surgery. It is okay to ask these questions:

o Do you feel comfortable performing this procedure?

o What is the average complication rate?

o What is your complication rate?

o Can I get a second opinion? o Are you board certified?

Accessibility/Availability

Is your doctor located in a place you can easily get to? Not only will it be more convenient for you, but it can also improve your rehabilitation. Your doctor will be close by to guide you and help if you encounter any problems.

If you call your doctor’s office, do they respond in a timely manner? How are on-call duties shared among your doctor’s practice partners? Will he/she be available or will someone else? Make sure that the surgeon you choose will be available to you in case you have a complication or if the surgery needs to be revised. A busy surgeon is usually a good surgeon, but a surgeon that is too busy to see patients is not an ideal choice. Read more online at: http://www.surgery.com/article/choosing-surgeon

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