Seeing a nephrologist early on when you have a kidney disorder or disease can keep you feeling well and keep your kidneys healthy and functioning for as long as possible. Your nephrologist is there to guide you through many decisions about protecting your health and treating your kidney problems. How do you find the best nephrologist who is right for you? Here are some important factors to keep in mind.
A Personal Decision https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/4992x3339%2B0%2B0/resize/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F1b%2F02%2F1b008cb040e384f85bda91a89874%2Fimage-gettyimages-72991363.jpg
Start with the list of potential nephrologists that your primary care doctor gave you. You can also ask family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. Take the time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience on Healthgrades.com. As you narrow down your list, call each nephrologist’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor.
1. Get Referrals https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Faa%2Fb4%2Ffdc69e3b4c21ac0e1895f667740c%2Fimage-woman-on-phone-with-laptop-on-lap.jpg
Board certification is one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing a nephrologist. It tells you that the doctor has the necessary training, skills and experience to provide healthcare in nephrology. Also confirm that the nephrologist has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can find the nephrologist’s medical school, training hospital, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history on Healthgrades.com and state websites.
2. Research the Nephrologist’s Credentials https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fae%2F6c%2F296ccef8451d8526869b7a980fae%2Fimage-man-using-computer-tablet.jpg
When it comes to your health, experience matters. The more experience a nephrologist has with a condition or procedure, the better your results are likely to be. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the nephrologist has treated. If you know you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication rates—complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.
3. Consider the Nephrologist’s Experience https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F04%2Fa4%2F23d3e2c0438a9334eee0c0bb2697%2Fimage-female-doctor-examining-male-patient.jpg
It’s important to feel comfortable with your nephrologist’s gender because you will need to openly discuss personal information. When it comes to kidney disease, your own gender is also an important consideration. Nephrologists are becoming more skilled in caring for women and men differently. Ask the nephrologist about his or her recent training and experience specifically related to your condition and your gender.
Your doctor’s hospital is your hospital. For this reason, consider the quality of care at the hospital and dialysis center where the nephrologist can provide care. Hospital quality matters to you because patients at top-rated hospitals have fewer complications and better survival rates. Additionally, consider whether the hospital’s location is important to you. Frequent tests, treatments, or follow-up visits may mean you need a convenient location. You want the location to encourage, rather than discourage timely care.
5. Research Hospital Quality https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/q