Locating a doctor that you can feel comfortable with and can communicate openly with at times may seem challenging. A good source of referral for a doctor would be to ask a doctor whom you trust. This simple source of referral has been complicated by the managed care industry and the formation of physician panels. This frequently limits your choice of doctor and who your family doctor can refer you too. Because your doctor has little or no input into which doctors serve on the panel they may be compelled to refer you to someone they would not normally use. Most doctors are familiar with the reputation of other doctors in their community.
Another source for a referral to a doctor could be from family, friends or co-workers. It is probably a good bet that if they had a good experience with their doctor that you will be treated with the same level of service and attention. Most doctors are well trained and have the best interests of their patients at heart. Very few doctors are truly incompetent or intentionally commit fraud or abuse. They do of course have their own style of practice and bedside manner, which may or may not meet your needs.
Yet another method of finding a doctor is by doing your own research on the qualifications of the physicians in your community and about their office policies and procedures. The Internet provides an excellent tool for doing this research. Many physicians are busy with taking care of patients and have ignored the value of the Internet in communicating their qualifications and services. Others are busy taking care of patients and do understand the value of this new technology, incorporating it into their daily practice. Therefore Internet information may be incomplete for those physicians who do not wish to participate in providing information about themselves and their practices. The PodiatryNetwork.com Find a Doctor section lists over 8000 foot and ankle specialists most of whom are members of the American Podiatric Medical Association. Here you can find information about these doctors, their qualifications, board certifications, office locations, which insurance plans they accept, and much more, should these doctors choose to take advantage of providing this additional information.
Historically the medical profession has been far behind the business curve when it comes to "customer service" issues. This has also been complicated by the cumbersome referral and insurance verification processes that have been imposed by managed care companies. The medical market place is slowly coming around to dealing with issues of "customer service". This is being facilitated by the growth in new computer related technologies and improvements in electronic communication. Physicians are emerging from the dark ages in dealing with issues of long patient wait times, managed care referral tracking, poorly written or illegible medical records and prescriptions, and patient communication barriers with the physicians practice dealing with minor medical questions, prescription refills, and billing questions.
We all have a lot to look forward to with the dynamic changes that are taking place in the health care industry both in medical technology advances and new medications and in the ways in which physicians communicate with their patients.
Our goal at PodiatryNetwork.com is to keep you up to date on these issues and facilitate your ability to learn about your physician choices and in communicating with their offices in dealing with your foot and ankle problems and concerns.