How to choose a proficient doctor online?

Gone are the days where going to the doctor’s can be likened to stepping into the great unknown, where all you may know may only be his name and credentials, on the wall. In this day and age, as tele-consultation becomes increasingly more common, as well as with the advent of online rating websites such as Yelp, as well as Google which helps to know more about them, it is now easier for consumers to make an informed choice with prior knowledge instead of walking into the doctor’s office blindly with no expectations.

Whether you just moved to a new place, changed your insurance providers, or had a bad brush with your old doctor, it’s important to find a doctor you can trust and whom you are comfortable with.

First off, you should decide what you are looking for. This may take into consideration some practical matters such as office hours, location, sex or race of the doctor, which is important in the level of comfort and language compatibility you have with your doctor. Do you prefer to see a group practice where you can see the other partners if your doctor is unavailable, or do you instead prefer a lone practitioner?

Secondly, a simple Google search may yield the available doctors’ practices near you. From then on, it is a simple Google search to glance at the shortlisted doctors’ credentials and past experience, which are usually listed online on a national register of sorts. It is important to note, though that extensive credentials do not indicate a better doctor than one without. However, if you are seeking a particular specialist for a specific disease and not a friendly neighborhood GP, then a long list of prior experiences, posts and research papers will likely indicate that this doctor is an authoritative figure in the history of the disease you need expertise in.

Online ratings website can also prove to be beneficial in the search for a proficient doctor online, though there have been numerous studies done which show that there is no correlation between a doctor’s mortality rate and Yelp ratings. This is primarily because the rating criteria set out by such websites normally place emphasis on bedside manner, punctuality, office comfort, wait time etc. and not a physician’s experience, success rates nor clinical skills. Patients usually don’t have the training or data to judge a doctor’s quality of medical care. It’s all fine and dandy if you’re choosing a general practitioner, where waiting time and office comfort may have a slightly higher importance, but if you’re looking for a brain surgeon, for example, it’d probably be more important to look at his or her success rates instead of waiting times.  You can have a very kind and compassionate surgeon, but it sadly won’t be much use if he has through-the-roof complication rates. Still, it’d be helpful to view the doctor’s Facebook page or a complaint forum to better prepare yourself for any potential issues in the future.

It’s also important to note the authenticity of the Internet source used in choosing a doctor online. Make sure that the sites you use are authentic if you are looking for a genuine health consultant online, as the credibility of the doctor is only as important as the web sources used. Another important aspect of looking for an Internet doctor is to ensure that there is a proper network whereby other qualified doctors are also part of. The chosen doctor should be part of a legitimate online health consultancy site with other partners, with listed credentials.

With the innumerable websites offering online health consultation and prescription services, it is important to choose one that’s legitimate, skilled and attentive to your needs. Choosing an online doctor is usually easy and hassle-free, and it’s also important to be a good patient and comply with the doctor’s advice and prescriptions.

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