- Step 3. Locate A Specialist Who Fits Your Insurance and/or Finances
- Step 4. Check The Doctor's Quality
- Step 1. Decide What Kind of Specialist You Need
- Step 2. Decide What You Want to Look For in a Specialist
- Step 5. Interview The Staff
- Step 6. Interview The Specialist
- Step 7. Review All You've Learned And Make A Decision
How To Choose A Specialist
A specialist is a doctor who specializes in treating a particular illness, part of your body or system (such as the immune system.)
Generally people see the specialist recommended by their treating doctor. If you are looking for a specialist for a single consultation for a particular problem, your doctor's recommendation may be adequate. However, if the reason you need a specialist is serious and you are likely to see the doctor on an ongoing basis (such as when you are looking for a doctor who specializes in a particular life changing condition) consider several different specialists before settling on the best one for you.
Even if your doctor recommends seeing the specialist "immediately," that usually means you have at least a few weeks before you see the specialist. Ask your doctor how much time you have before you should see the specialist.
Take the time to consider all your choices. Not all specialists are created alike. You are entitled to the best specialist you can get.
If you have difficulty getting a timely appointment with a specialist, ask your primary care doctor or the doctor's staff to make the appointment for you. They can often do better in getting appointments.
There are seven steps to choosing a specialist:
Step 1. Decide what kind of specialist you need.
Step 2. Decide what to look for in a specialist.
Step 3. Locate a specialist who fits your criteria, including insurance and/or financial criteria.
Step 4. Check the specialist's quality.
Step 5. Interview the staff.
Step 6. Interview the specialist.
Step 7. Review all you learned and make a decision.
NOTE: Before agreeing to a treatment, ask all questions of concern to you. For a list of suggested questions, see: