Gastroenterology - How To Choose A Doctor
Gastroenterologists are those doctors, sometimes referred to as internists
, specifying in gastroenterology. These are certified physicians that only work on stomach and intestinal related issues. Often gastroenterologists have gone through years of extra training to learn to deal with digestive disorders.
You may want to begin seeing a gastroenterologist when you have specific problems with your digestion, stomach and intestines. However, you may also be referred to the gastroenterology department in your hospital if you have shown signs of disorders in your colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and esophagus. These physicians are well versed in the prevention of gastro diseases. A gastroenterologist will also be accustomed to handling more severe or difficult cases.
Choosing a gastroenterologist that is right for you and your family is a very detailed process. Because these physicians are so specialized, it is extremely important that you find someone that you feel is not only competent, but that has good bedside manners.
You need to feel comfortable talking with your physician about your stomach or intestinal ailments. Perhaps more importantly you need to feel they are comfortable talking with you and helping you understand your ailments and medical options.
If your primary-care physician does not have someone they readily recommend, or if you are unable to chat with family doctor for a referral, then it's time to seek out the opinions of family and friends. Checking with those closest to you, like family and friends, about any gastroenterologists with whom they are familiar is invaluable. Recommendations are the best source for a good fit. When the prescreening is already done, you can go comfortably to the doctor knowing that they meet criteria for good practitioners.
If you aren't able to act on a recommendation from either your family doctor or your friends, then you can contact your local Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce is an association that works to raise awareness of your city's business owners. Officials will have a list of practicing gastroenterologists in your city. They may also have reviews and other critical information about the physician's reputation.
Once you have narrowed the field of gastroenterologists to a few, make appointments to meet with the doctor and/or his staff. You may be able to schedule a trial-type interview with little or no charge. It's important that you go into the appointment prepared to ask questions. Be inquisitive-it will serve you in the long run. Ask questions about their approach, education, staff, emergency call philosophies, insurance coverage, and medical billing. Discuss your medical needs, your medical history, and make sure you are satisfied with the physician's response.
So, educate yourself about gastroenterology and why you might benefit from a specialist. Talk to your family doctor and friends about someone they might recommend. Check on the business credentials and schedule an interview with the gastroenterologists with whom you are interested.
by: Abigail Aaronson
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