The very personal choice of an OB/GYN (OBG) physician is likely not as difficult as it might seem. There are many online sites and friends/ family to consult on this matter. I will outline some of the considerations that seem to be most helpful below.
- Training and Board certification – although no guarantee of quality , this is usually an easy place to start and readily available both on physician website biographies or online.
- Experience – again no guarantees here, but as in everything in life a little experience does seem to count when your health is concerned. Don’t be afraid to ask about a particular area of professional experience if you are concerned.
- Hospital affiliation(s) – the facility reputation and standing can be just as important if not more so. Readily available online or at the facility website. If pregnant what kind of NICU is available if baby needs special care after delivery.
- Office hours and location – very subjective look for access, parking, safety considerations and if family members or kids are welcome in the office.
- Coverage when the Doctor is away – look at the other members of the practice, their qualifications are important too! Personality compatibility with the group members towards you is a consideration.
- Insurances accepted by the Doctor or group (and the facilities they use!)
So most of the things listed above are to think about BEFORE you come to the office. What about AFTER your visit?
- How did you feel coming into or leaving the office? Good experience? Nervous? Intimidated? You should definitely listen to that inner voice here. Your first instinct is usually correct.
- Did you feel comfortable discussing highly personal information with the Doctor? The staff? Was privacy important to the practice?
- Availability of Doctor after hours? Who picks up the phone? How often is your Doctor on call?
- Office staff. Appearance? Professionalism? Compatibility with your personality? Privacy concerns?
Although this is not an exhaustive list of concerns or a perfect way to choose, it should be a good start. Never forget to ask questions and try to be prepared for all visits yourself as this can be a two way street!
Dr. Eduardo Raez
The Institute for Women’s Health