10 Tips for Finding Your Ideal Endocrinologist
Finding your ideal endocrinologist can be hard! Today, we’d like to feature a past article that lends 10 tips for finding the best doctor for you.
Whether you’re recently diagnosed with diabetes, recently moved, or are ready for a change, selecting an endocrinologist is important to your diabetes management. The relationship you have with him or her can make a big difference in not just your quarterly visits, but also your day-to-day diabetes management and long term health. So how do you find an endocrinologist? And not just any one, but one who “gets” you and who can help you achieve your goals and live well with diabetes?
1. Ask for Recommendations
Ask family, friends, the community, or one of your other physicians for a recommendation. When you do this, be sure to ask why they like this particular endocrinologist and why they think it would be a good fit. You can also reach out to your local JDRF or ADA chapter to see if they offer a list of highly recommended endocrinologists in your area.
2. Visit AACE Website
Visit the AACE Find an Endocrinologist on the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website. You can search for an endocrinologist in your area by location, area of interest, or both.
3. Determine Which Doctors are “In-Network”
Most health insurance plans have negotiated contracts with certain doctors and hospitals in your area, so you’ll pay less out of pocket costs. You can find a list of your “in-network” doctors by calling the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.
4. Do Online Research
Once you have some names, do some online research to learn more about their expertise, affiliations, and practice. While online patient reviews can be helpful, keep in mind everyone has different needs and personalities, so an endocrinologist that’s a good fit for one patient, may not be a good fit for another. (This is why #6 and #7 are so important.)
5. Check Their Credentials
Check where they went to medical school and completed their fellowship program, if they’re board certified, and their specialization. Make sure the endocrinologist has a particular interest in diabetes.
6. Visit the Doctor
How friendly, helpful, and informative was the endocrinologist and his staff? You should feel comfortable in their office, and feel like they are someone you can trust. The ability for the two of you to communicate well is also important for establishing a productive, long-term relationship.
7. Ask Questions and Observe
Write down questions ahead of time to ask prospective physicians to make sure it’s the right fit. For example, what is their philosophy on weight management, glucose control and diabetes technology? If you use or are interested in using an insulin pump and CGM, are they familiar with these tools? What about diabetes management apps? Also feel free to ask about appointment occurrence/scheduling, refill policy, and doctor/patient communication in between office visits. Observe the office staff behavior, i.e. answering phones, wait times, and manners.
8. Bring Your Information
Prepare for your appointments so your doctor can better help you meet your goals. Bring your recent log books or CareLink reports, diet and activity history, pertinent medical information, any information on a new type of therapy you’re interested in learning more about, and questions.
9. Think About Logistics
Do you want a physician who is close to home or your office? What are their office hours and will you need to take time off work for a doctor’s appointment. If so, think about all of these things and weigh how important they are to you in relation to other factors (like some of the things in #7).
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Switch
Remember this is your diabetes and no one else’s. If for any reason – and at any time – you’re not comfortable with the endocrinologist, practice, staff, or the way they manage your health, you have every right to switch.
I certainly AGREE with the needs in finding an endocrinologist, who is caring, nearby, and who accepts your insurance. In this day and age, medicine has changed greatly, both ups and downs! Much progress to be more understanding of illnesses, treatment, an less invasive positive management.
As a retired physician, treatment and interaction is computerized, the groups are huge, and speaking to a physician is an incredibly difficult accomplishment, and pretty much impossible these days!