Doctors and dentists are some of the most important professionals you will visit in your lifetime. The services they offer are vital to your health, but because of this they can also be expensive; it is important that you make sure to get your money's worth.
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QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE LOOKING FOR A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL

• Do you need a specialist or a general practitioner?
• Do you want the doctor to have privileges (be permitted to practice) at the hospital of your choice?
• Do you want the doctor's office to be close to your home?

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A DOCTOR OR DENTIST

Once you have decided what you want in a health care provider, make a list of doctors or dentists you are considering. Next, contact their offices and make an appointment to meet with them. Ask if they give advice over the phone for common problems or if they have someone else you can contact. Be aware of any extra fees you may be required to pay. For example, if you cancel an appointment, will you still have to pay for it? Remember to note their office hours and inquire as to how you should contact them in case of an emergency.

Make sure to ask friends and family about possible health care providers. You may also want to contact your local or state dental society or the American Board of Medical Specialties to find out if the health care professional you are considering is certified.

QUALITY CONTROL

It is important that a health care provider listens to you, encourages you to ask questions, and is easy to talk to. Are things explained clearly to you? Are you treated with respect? Communication is the key factor in a positive relationship with your doctor or dentist.

Look to see if the office has proper infection control procedures in place. Is the establishment neat, clean and orderly? Can you get an appointment in a timely matter? Make sure your medical or dental history is properly recorded and filed. In order to make a smooth transition to a new health care provider, clear and accurate record keeping is important.

To insure quality service and care, carefully choose your health care providers. The time and effort you put into your choice will pay off in the long run.

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