You should seek at least two types of references of finding a good doctor or medical expert. The first includes personal recommendations from friends and from other doctors you trust. Don’t be shy about asking why someone else likes his or her doctor, or in expressing your preferences. Compatibility, after all, is one of the most important aspects of the doctor – patient relationship.
The second kind of reference is professional. It won’t tell you what a doctor or a medical expert is like, but it will provide you with specific professional information about his training and experience: where he has studied, what hospitals he is privileged to use, whether he specializes in a field of medicine that is of particular interest to you. It will also tell you whether he is licensed by the state, as all doctors and all medical expert or medical practitioner must be practice legally.
Your relationship with your doctor is as unique as it is important. In the strictest terms, it is highly professional arrangement, one involving the hiring of a medical expert to treat your health needs. Yet it is a relationship that fosters a degree of intimacy, both physical and emotional, which may on occasion be as great as that found in other areas of your life or even greater. Most important of all, your relationship with your doctor must work. To be successful, it must be based first and foremost on communication, the clear, complete and comfortable exchange information, which is the foundation of all good medical care.
Thus it is important to remember that when you seek assistance, you are hiring not only a medical expert but a communicator as well. It is also essential to understand your role in the relationship, for you, the patient, must also play your part. The most conscientious of physicians, after all, cannot diagnose and treat without your cooperation. You must explain your symptoms clearly to your doctor. You must follow your doctor’s instructions exactly as given. And you must realize that no matter what the problem, no matter how great your fear, the ultimate responsibility for your care lies not with your doctor but with you.
Exhaust all your resources in finding a doctor, specialist, other medical expert and considering surgery, in obtaining second opinions and, when necessary, in changing a doctor.