Choosing an Orthopedist: Checklist

Choosing an orthopedist for help with pain, immobility, or orthopedic issues requires more than just a gut feeling. As numerous articles have pointed out, making a smart selection requires looking at several criteria, from credentials to areas of specialty.

This page offers some sound advice without getting too technical, pointing patients toward a thumbnail list of questions you might want to ask before committing. I am especially strongly in favor of anything that prizes communication as an essential component to a solid relationship, to wit:

Do I like and trust this doctor? Do I feel good about this doctor’s expertise? Do we communicate well?

Other good questions include this couplet, which covers some important decision-making considerations:

What procedures do you recommend for my case? Why? Why not others?
How many times have you performed this procedure in the past year?

This page touches on an essential final question, which covers the issue of insurance and whether or not your preferred orthopedist is in-network or out-of-network:

Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your care, you may need to choose an orthopedic surgeon who participates in your plan. You should still consider credentials, experience, outcomes, and hospital quality as you select an orthopedic surgeon from your plan.

Ultimately the only way to choose an orthopedist is to do your homework and reach out with questions as they arise. Stick with a San Diego orthopedist who shows patience and care when addressing your concerns, and look for strong experience in your area of pain. You’re likely to have a better experience throughout.

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