When you need to find a cardiologist, it’s important to choose a doctor who’s experienced at handling your specific condition. You will also need someone who matches your communication style. The first step toward improving your heart health and building a great doctor-patient relationship is to make an informed choice. Here are a few points to keep in mind, listed by Garden State Medical Group:
- Start with your primary care doctor’s recommendation: Depending on where you live, you could have hundreds of cardiologists to choose from. In a non-emergency situation, your family doctor—the person who knows you the best—is the right person to ask for a referral. The cardiologists near Secaucus, New Jersey, say that your doctor, who has interacted with many cardiologists, can help point you in the right direction.
- Check the cardiologist’s credentials: An important step in choosing the right doctor is to do a background check on a physician to be sure he or she is competent and board-certified. Board certified means that the doctor has not only studied this specialty but has also passed rigorous testing. The internet is a powerful tool to find information about doctors. There are various websites that list physician information such as age, board certification status and other demographic information.
- Stay local: It’s not always necessary to travel to distant hospitals to get good care. Even local cardiologists can do a great job of taking care of heart problems such as coronary artery disease. When you have a problem that needs a specialist, your local cardiologist will recognize that and refer you to a more distant heart center, if needed.
- Communicate your needs to your cardiologist: Ask who covers for the cardiologist when he/she is not available, how busy the practice is and any other issues that concern you. Being comfortable talking and communicating your needs to your cardiologist is extremely important.
- Choose the right doctor for your needs: Counting on recommendations from friends and family members isn’t always a good idea because their needs for a cardiologist may be different from yours. Choose a specialist with the best track record and experience with your particular heart condition. Women tend to gravitate toward a female cardiologist but gender shouldn’t play a big role in decision making.
- Researsch online reviews: Online reviews can be helpful but don’t base your decision solely on them. The cardiologist in Paramus, New Jersey, point out that sometimes even the most knowledgeable and expert cardiologists get poor reviews because of things like office wait times and parking hassles.
Thoroughly researching your candidate doctors can give you the confidence of knowing you’ve made the right decision.