A woman’s relationship with her physician, particularly an OB-GYN, differs from all other patient-doctor relationships. It is essential to choose a physician you feel comfortable and safe with to ensure that you receive the best care for your reproductive and sexual health. Here are some tips for selecting a physician for your women’s wellness exam:
Choose a Physician with Great Reviews
You can find countless reviews on the internet, but for your women’s wellness exam, we recommend asking your family and friends about their physicians. A firsthand experience is always better than a stranger’s online review.
Moreover, those close to you know your personality and will be able to refer you to an OB-GYN who is better suited to your personality and needs.
Pick a Physician Who Is Part of Your Insurance Plan
With health insurance, you can choose a physician who is part of your plan. This will ensure that the cost of the women’s wellness exam is within your budget. You can also pick a doctor outside your network, but you may be responsible for paying more.
If you are a Medicaid or Medicare beneficiary, the Physician Compare tool can be used to narrow your search through medical specialities. Moreover, you can access a doctor database through the American Medical Association, which allows you to search for a physician by zip code, state, and expertise.
Keep Your Convenience in Mind
If your regular physician only works during standard business hours and you cannot schedule an appointment, then consider a physician who:
- Offers an online patient portal where you can send questions and communicate with them.
- Works during the evening or on weekends.
- Can speak with you via telephone to answer questions and concerns even after clinic hours.
- Offers telemedicine so you can book an online appointment that aligns with your schedule
Check Out the Hospital Your Physician Is Associated With
Physicians are usually associated with specific local hospitals or might recommend a hospital. It is always a good idea to check out this hospital and tour the facilities before your first visit. Based on your experience, you might or might not want to change your physician.
Keep convenience in mind when choosing a physician for your women’s wellness exam. Access to an OB-GYN should not require endless hours of travel and rush-hour traffic. After all, you could have an emergency, but if your physician’s clinic or hospital is too far away, you would be at risk.
It is estimated that by 2050, there will be a national shortage of OB-GYN doctors. Moreover, Alaska Native, Native American, and Black women are three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women because of a lack of access to quality health care. Therefore, pay attention to your reproductive and sexual health, and choose a physician geographically close to you.
Pay Attention to the Physician’s Certifications
When choosing a physician for your women’s wellness exam, you want to choose one who is certified and has an extra education level on their resume. A certification indicates that a physician is an expert in their field of medicine.
If searching for certified physicians, review Certification Matters, the American Board of Medical Specialties’ database. This ongoing qualification ensures that the physician is up to date with practice and research standards.
Moreover, talk with the physician before making a final decision. You can ask them about their subspecialties and what they are most qualified for. These questions will help put your mind at ease and ensure that you get the best possible care when you are ready to select a physician.
Figure Out How Comfortable You Are With the Entire Practice
Most physicians are part of a group of doctors. If this is the case with your physician, you should visit and sit down with the health-care professionals before you go for your women’s wellness exam to become comfortable with them. If there is any doctor on the team that you are not satisfied with, you can always ask for an alternate doctor.
Additionally, if you plan to have a baby, it is essential to know whether the practice includes a doula or midwife, based on your preference. You should also discuss details about delivering a baby at home or in a birthing center. The more information you have, the better informed your decision will be.
Choose a Physician Who Makes You Feel Comfortable & Confident
Getting a women’s wellness exam is not easy, mainly because it requires one to place significant trust in their physician. If you require additional support or a hand to hold, your physician is trained to pay attention to your mental health, answer your questions, and support you throughout the process.
It is common to develop anxiety and depression issues during this trying time. However, having a supportive physician who can provide you with some emotional management skills is a huge plus. After all, you do not want to choose a rude and emotionally unavailable physician.
Imperial Center Family Medicine recognizes the concerns that women face and strives to provide nothing but the best. If you are looking for a physician for your women’s wellness exam, call the team today and book an appointment.