Finding a physician
Carol Collins, director of Medical Staff Services, Banner Heart Hospital
Question: I’m new to the area, how would you recommend I find the ideal physician?
Answer: To begin, you’ll want to check with your insurance plan for a listing of providers. Then, and most importantly, you’ll need to decide what qualities you are looking for and give consideration to those physicians who meet the majority of your requirements.
By taking simple steps in the selection process, you can more easily accomplish this important decision. Begin by making a list of your expectations.
- Does the physician speak your language?
- Is the physician in solo practice or does he/she practice in a group setting?
- Are you willing to see a physician’s assistant?
- Is the physician board certified?
- Does the doctor use a local hospital you respect?
Answer these questions and then complete this process by adding any other qualities you seek and you’re ready to begin your search. Recommendations from friends and relatives regarding physicians are often useful. In addition, a variety of physician information is available to you on Internet Web sites. It may be helpful to access on-line for state, county, and local professional societies, such as the Maricopa County Medical Society, for physician information.
State licensing boards sites, such as the Arizona Medical Board and the Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners, provide physician training information as well as any information available regarding board investigations and/or physician disciplinary actions. Additionally, many local hospitals and healthcare systems provide a free physician referral service. The Banner Health physician referral service at (602) 230-CARE can refer physicians that meet your specific requirements. A similar service entitled “AMA DoctorFinder” is also provided by a national organization, the American Medical Association.