There Are Eight Key Things to Look for When Searching for a Good Urologist
Whether you suffer from frequent bladder infections, kidney stones, or an enlarged prostate, your primary doctor may recommend scheduling an appointment with a urologist. This professional urologist can offer highly specialized treatments and care along with strategies for improving both your symptoms and your general life-quality. Choosing which urologist you want to work with is an incredibly personal decision. Following are eight important things to look for as you review your options.
1. Referrals From Reliable Sources
A seasoned and reputable urologist will often get regular referrals from current and former patients, doctors, and other healthcare providers and associates. You can use various online platforms to learn more about the work history and credentials of urologists that your family members, friends, co-workers, or healthcare team have recommended.
2. Look for a Board-Certified Urologist
Urologists practice specialty medicine. This means that their services are highly specialized. When your general doctor suggests visiting a urologist, this is an indication of a strong need for a higher quality and more needs-specific level of care. A board-certified urologist will have the right skills, training, and work history for providing the service and support you require. When looking for a board-certified urologist, take the time to ensure that none of your prospects have faced disciplinary actions, had their licensed questioned, or have histories of malpractice claims. Various state-run websites will provide information on the medical schools that urologists have attended, the hospitals at which they trained, their certifications, and any legal actions that have been taken against them.
3. Choose a Professional With Ample Experience
Experience is always a critical feature to look for when working with any practitioner of specialty medicine. A seasoned urologist has a higher likelihood of making accurate diagnoses, correctly performing treatments, and devising needs-specific and ultimately successful treatment plans than does one who’s just starting out. If there’s a specific procedure that you’ll need to have performed, you want to make sure that your chosen provider is well-familiar with the desired surgical method, and has safely and successfully performed it multiple times in the past. A urologist with lots of firsthand experience will be well-versed in dealing with and mitigating the risks of possible complications and existing co-morbidities that you might have.
4. Search for a Provider You’ll Feel Comfortable Working With
Whether your primary concern is age or gender, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with any urologist you choose. After all, you’ll need to share incredibly personable details about your health with this professional. The more honest and forthright you’re able to be with your provider; the more customized you care can become. Urologists often specialize in female and male-specific urologic diseases and conditions. Thus, if it’s important to you, make sure that your urologist is relatable, easy-to-talk to, and the gender you feel most comfortable with.
5. A Quality Hospital or Practice
A large part of your patient experience will be about far more than your actual urologist. You also want these services to be provided in facilities that are known for offering a superior quality of care. Shop for urologists that work in top-rated hospitals or practices, and in easy to access locations. Factors such as parking, accessibility, friendliness of staff, and others definitely matter. Well-rated hospitals and practices tend to have far higher success rates in surgeries and in non-invasive treatments than do facilities with consistently low-ratings.
6. Good Communication Skills
Communication is a two-sided activity. In addition to feeling comfortable talking about sensitive issues with your urologist, you definitely want to feel as though your questions are getting thoughtful answers, and your complaints are being heard. Scheduling a consultation appointment is a great way to assess the communication style of a prospective provider. Try to work with someone who takes the time to get to know you, who carefully explains your treatment options, and who’s committed to helping you make informed decisions about your own urologic and overall health.
7. Impressive Patient Reviews
Patients often provide a lot of genuine, candid feedback about medical doctors online. Find a few reputable and unbiased review sites and read up on what others are saying about local urologists and their practices, or the hospitals that urologists work in. Most platforms will give you information on ease of scheduling, ease of communication, wait times, and the disposition of the entire office staff. You can find out whether urologists rush through their appointments, or whether they take the time to give each patient the quality service they deserve.
8. Shop for an In-Network Urologist
Understanding what your insurance will and will not cover is also an important part of this process. Depending upon your plan type, you may need to work with in-network urologists in order to keep your out-of-pocket spending down. Fees like co-payments, deductibles, and prescription costs may not change significantly from one provider to the other, but working with an out-of-network doctor could prove incredibly costly. Although price should never be the sole factor that you consider, taking the time to calculate the total out-of-pocket costs for different provider is always important.