Choosing a doctor is one of the most important relationships you're ever going to choose in your life. That choice of doctor can have a meaningful impact on the quality of your life, or even in some cases, the difference between life and death. And yet despite that, consumers, on average, spend 40% more time researching their next appliance than they do researching their next physicians.
At Healthgrades, we believe there are three things you should be looking at when picking the right physician for you or your family. The first thing is compatibility. The second is the doctor's relevant experience, and the third is the quality of the hospital at which they practice.
So let's break this down. What do I mean by compatibility? Compatibility is a couple of things. It's not only do they take your insurance and are they available at the hours that you need, or can you get to their location? What's also important is will you work with them as a partner in your care in a way that's comfortable for you? Some of us like to be super efficient with our time and like our physicians to tell us what we need to know, let us go on our way, and we'll just make it happen. Other people want a partner that they can debate with and they can talk with, and they feel like they're more a part of their own care. Neither is right or wrong. It's a personal preference. And you should feel comfortable that the physician you're working with is going to be a good partner for you over the long term.
The second thing that we talked about is the relevant experience of the physician. So what you want to look for is a physician who has deep, relevant experience in the specific condition that you need help with. So if you need a knee replacement, don't just go to any orthopedic surgeon. Go to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knees versus someone who specializes in shoulders or any other body part. They're just going to have more practice, and on average, you're going to end up with a better result if you go to somebody who's more experienced.
And the last piece of it is hospital quality. The reason why hospital quality matters is that Healthgrades is a team sport, and although the physician might be the quarterback of that team, how that team works together and interacts is going to make a huge difference in your ultimate care. If you think about it, you're going to spend a lot more time with everybody else than you are with the doctor, and so that matters in the ultimate result.
And so what you're really looking for is a combination of those things: someone I can work with, someone who has deep experience in what I need their help with, and someone, especially with procedures, who is working at a hospital that has great quality results, so that I'm confident that I'm getting the best possible chance of having a great outcome when we're done.
At Healthgrades, our job is to help you find and connect with the right doctor, the right hospital and the right care. And for more information go to Healthgrades.com.