Kim explains best way to find doctor

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Dear Kim,

I just moved to the area about a month ago.  I don’t have serious health issues but do take a couple of prescriptions regularly.  I don’t have family in the area, so I can’t ask them for recommendations.  What’s your advice on finding a doctor in this area? 



Dear Paula,

Welcome to Topeka, Paula!  I think you’ll find it’s a nice place to live and work.  Small enough to not overwhelm and close enough to the big city if you’re wanting more. 

Topeka is very fortunate to offer an excellent choice of doctors and health care facilities.  So, first things first.  Let’s start with money.  Who does your health insurance have in your network?  That’s where I’d begin.  You should always try to get the maximum benefit from your insurance provider.  If you’re not concerned with the financial aspect, your options with out-of-network physicians are limitless.

Next, look for a doctor in the area of expertise you need.  Are you looking for a cardiologist or a general practitioner?  Check their credentials.  Do a bit of online research.  There are websites that allow you verify licensing and board certifications.  Where did they attend medical school and do their residency?  How long have they been practicing?  Do they have advanced training in their field?  Has there been any action against them related to malpractice or disciplinary actions brought against them?  Do they have hospital privileges at your preferred hospital? I like to read their patient reviews and see what they have to say about them.  Call the office and talk with the staff.  See if they’re helpful.  Without a personal recommendation, this is the type of information you’ll need to rely upon initially.  Seems like so much work to find a doctor!

Seriously though, your relationship with a physician is one of the most important relationships you’ll have in your life.  I’ve had people rave about how great their doctor is, and then I was personally disappointed with the visit.  Bottom line –check their credentials then schedule a visit.  The office visit is truly the only way to see if they fit what you want from a doctor.  That face to face visit is your only way to see if you have compatible personalities and attitudes.  You want to be comfortable and confident in your relationship.  Good luck!

Have a question?  Ask Kim!

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