Vim & Vigor - Summer 2019 - GMC - 41

Step One:
Use the Internet

You can start your search by
visiting the website of a trusted hospital system or medical network to
look for providers near you. Then plug
those names into sites like Zocdoc and
Yelp, which contain multitudes of doctor reviews.
Darien is a proponent of reviews
but cautions that patients should
read them carefully.
"Compare the feedback on all of
these sites," Darien says, "because if
in one place a doctor is all five stars
and another place that doctor is two
stars, there's something off." That disparity in ratings would prompt Darien
to either find a different doctor or do
additional digging online to get a more
complete story.

Step Two:
Tap Your Circle

Ask your friends, family
members and co-workers for recommendations. Find a communityoriented social media group and ask
for input there. If you need a specialist
for a specific diagnosis, find an online
advocacy group or patient group
focused on that injury, illness or disease and start asking questions. "Your
community is a powerful resource,"
Darien says. "Use it."

Step Three:
Ask Good
Questions

When you ask for recommendations,
ask about the things that matter to
you most. Does the doctor take time
to answer questions during an office
visit, or is she pushing her patients out
the door? How long might you wait
for an appointment if you need one?

Darien likes to ask this question when
she is looking for a new doctor: "What
is my access to that physician, and
how quickly will they call me back if I
call with a medical issue?"

Step Four:
Call the Office

Once you've settled on
a few possible doctors, call their
offices. Make sure that they accept
your insurance and that they can get
you an appointment when you want
one. Ask if they have a nurse practitioner on staff to field patient phone
calls or see patients who need sameday appointments.
"Look at how they treat you when
you call on the telephone," Darien
says. "Are they listening to you? Are
they making sure you go in prepared
for the visit? The front desk is a really
important contact that should give
you a sense of what the culture of the
practice is."

Step Five:
Make a Choice

Don't be afraid to ask tough
questions of your doctor once
you've chosen her: Why is she recommending one treatment plan
instead of another? Might there be
another medication that would work
better? Are nonpharmacological
options available?
You should leave your appointment
feeling confident in your care and
comfortable with the answers you
received, Darien says. If you didn't,
or if the doctor-patient relationship
simply isn't working for you, don't be
afraid to start searching for a new
doctor again or to ask to see a different doctor in that practice. ■

WHAT DO ALL
OF THOSE
CREDENTIALS
MEAN?
Sometimes it seems like the world of
health care has gone crazy with all of the
different acronyms and credentials. So
much so that it can be hard for most of
us to know what they stand for, and more
importantly, what they mean for your
care. So to help you decipher two of the
most common credentials out there-MD
and DO-here is what you need to know:
MD: Also known as doctors of
medicine, these providers must earn a
bachelor's degree, a medical degree and
complete an internship and residency.
Their approach to care is called
allopathic, meaning it is grounded in
modern scientific approaches to care.
DO: Unlike MDs, these providers earn
doctorates in osteopathic medicine, and
while their education and certifications
are similar, their philosophy of care is
different. With an osteopathic approach,
these doctors utilize more holistic
methods of care, and learn osteopathic
manipulative treatment.

WEBSITE

The Doctor Will
Now See You
At Gwinnett Medical Center, we
offer care from a variety of health
experts. From MDs and DOs to
fellowship-trained surgeons,
you can find your perfect fit by
visiting gwinnettmedical
center.org/physician.

SUMME R 2019

41


http://www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/physician http://www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/physician

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2019 - GMC

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Summer 2019 - GMC

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Vim & Vigor - Summer 2019 - GMC - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2019 - GMC - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2019 - GMC - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Summer 2019 - GMC - Cover3
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