Orthopedic Doctor – Introduction
When it comes to taking care of our health, there is no such thing as being over-prepared. We are only given one body in our lifetime so searching for a good physician is an important matter. However, finding an appropriate orthopedic surgeon and doctor has become significantly harder than finding a good chef, in comparison.
Whilst more and more online orthopedic review sites have been popping up, they should not be the only basis of comparison. Not everyone takes the time to maintain their online image, and some great physicians might have less-than-desirable online reputations, for example! In my opinion, finding good physicians come from word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends.
However, what does that mean for the consumer? How do I find good orthopedic doctors near me anymore? If you don’t know where to start, fret not! In this article, we will go through other methods that you can use to vet all the physicians out there and locate the best fit for you.
Check Out Their Credentials
Firstly, making sure that your orthopedic surgeon has the right credentials to treat you is of utmost importance. Certain surgeons have specialized training in certain areas while others do not. For instance, some focus on hand surgery, sports medicine, spine surgery, and many other specializations. Medical terms can often confuse us so it is important to know the difference between different specializations.
For example, orthopedic sports medicine is different from primary care sports medicine. Depending on the procedure you intend to get, certain specializations and sub-specializations are more relevant compared to others. Researching the institutions at which doctors have received their training can also provide us with a platform to effectively compare their training and the quality of their training. If a physician received training from a high-volume hospital, he/she probably got the chance to learn their craft effectively.
Vet Their Technical Skill
Depending on the procedure you are looking to get done, it is good practice to check in with your surgeon to find out more about the experience they have had with your specific surgery of interest. Calling in to ask their office about their experience is not a bad idea. This allows you to have a better picture of different surgeons and their ability to carry out your preferred procedure.
Find Out More About Their Experience
40 to 50-year-old orthopedic surgeons are typically those who are in their prime time. By the time a surgeon has reached 40, they would have had enough practice in various situations and built up enough reputation to have honed their skills. After the age of 50, we’ve noticed that certain orthopedic doctors tend to fall into routines and become complacent as new technologies emerge.
Of course, you should take such generalizations with a pinch of salt. These do not apply to everyone, but they might be of use to some. Regardless, it’s always better to search for those in their prime time.
Beware of Salesmen
Being the first to adopt the latest technologies and advancements in procedural methods may be a sign that you need to be wary of a surgeon. If your physician is very eager to sell you a fresh and new cure-all treatment, it should ring some alarms.
Most of the time these new treatments have yet to be vetted by other professionals and organizations. This is a cause of concern as often we do not necessarily completely understand the positive and negative impacts of these new technologies. It is better to wait for early adopters to work out the kinks in new technology so that studies and comparisons can set the tone for the standard of care expected.
An exception could be when your surgeon has exhausted all means and when there is a lack of any other alternative, trying out new techniques may help to salvage a dire situation. However, as much as possible, it would be best to avoid physicians that are eager to sell expensive, over the top, non-insurance-approved treatments. You can usually spot these types of physicians based on their dazzling websites that might be focused on new esoteric therapy.
Nurses play a unique and special role in the healthcare system. They interact with physicians all the time and have first-hand accounts of patient and physician interactions. Other than the physician, nurses are the only other witness to how doctors behave during adverse situations in the operating room.
These experiences are valuable in informing nurses about what surgeons are truly like when it comes to their work. A nurse’s opinion would be very useful in informing one about who the better physicians might be. Though they might not know of an orthopedic doctor or surgeon specifically, they might know someone working in the industry well.
Ask Occupational and Physical Therapists
The best way to find the best surgeon for your condition is honestly, going up to local therapists and asking them. Asking them who they would trust the most with a certain surgery or who is the best at a certain procedure is useful in finding out the names of reputable doctors in the area.
This is a great way to find out what respected and trusted doctors are these therapists are the ones who see patients before and after their surgery and hence would be great at judging the work of different surgeons.
Ask Local Athletic Trainers
Other than therapists, trainers also have a pretty good view of which doctors can get athletes back on track. Trainers see a high frequency of sports injuries and work together with surgeons to manage their athletes. They would have good accounts of which surgeons can help especially when it comes to sport-specific injuries.
Ask Your Friends
Since orthopedic injuries are common, trusted sources like the friends around you are also a sure way to get good recommendations too.
Ask the Internet
A simple google search can offer you much to consider about your doctor. Online reviews are often available. If a surgeon has a lot of negative reviews, steering clear of them is probably a great idea but sometimes someone with overwhelmingly positive reviews might also be a surgeon to be wary of.
Reading the reviews in detail can help you better understand the concerns that other patients had and can allow you to think about factors of your surgery that you might not have given a thought to.
Getting recommendations from trusted sources and healthcare workers with first-hand experiences with various surgeons is a good way to identify good orthopedic surgeons. Asking about a doctor’s experience with particular procedures will also go a long way. However, do keep in mind that everyone’s body is unique and requires different types of care and concern. What works for them may not work for you, specifically.