Selecting an orthopedic specialist is an important decision that will affect your health, well-being and peace-of-mind. Most likely, your primary care doctor will recommend one. However, it’s always best to get a second or even third opinion — especially when surgery may be involved – and you also want to make sure that the specialist you select is in your insurance network.
At Plano Orthopedic Sports Medicine & Spine Center, we hope you’ll choose us — but we understand that there are many choices out there and we want you to feel completely comfortable with your selection. Following are some important questions to keep in mind:
1. What are the orthopedic specialist’s credentials? Board certification is an essential factor to consider when choosing an orthopedic specialist. Certification tells you that the doctor has the necessary training, skills and experience to provide orthopedic care.
2. What are the credentials of the medical team – including nurses, physical therapists and others who will be involved in your pre and post-surgery?
3. What procedure does the specialist recommend for your case and why? Are there alternative procedures? Explore all options with the specialist and see how responsive and receptive he or she is to your needs and concerns.
4. What is the specialist’s experience with your specific condition/procedure? Ask how many patients with your condition the specialist has treated in the past year. Also, ask about complication rates the doctor has experienced, as well as your own risk of complications.
5. How does the specialist follow a patient post-surgery and what will your follow-up care entail? In line with this, read up on the specialist’s patient satisfaction surveys to see what other people have said about their experience, including scheduling appointments, wait times, and aftercare.
Finally, not a question, but something to carefully observe is the specialist’s demeanor. When you first meet the specialist, ask a question and notice how he or she responds. Does he or she welcome your questions and answer them in ways that you understand? During the first visit, do you feel rushed or engaged? Find an orthopedic specialist who shows genuine interest in getting to know you, who supports your information needs, and respects your decision-making process.
Again, we hope you will consider Plano Orthopedic Sports Medicine & Spine Center. Our certified specialists are always available to answer any and all of your questions! Contact us today!