When it comes to making big purchases, like a new television or camera, we are more than willing to do our homework. We spend hours (and even days) searching through different websites, comparing prices, reading reviews, etc. However, when it comes to our healthcare, we don’t give it nearly as much attention — but we should! Our lives are far more important than that 4K 60-inch smart television.
Why aren’t we doing research when it comes to choosing the right doctor? You shouldn’t just choose the most convenient doctor. Explore the doctors in your area, and make an appointment to visit the most reliable doctor to ensure you’ll be in good hands.
When you are considering spine surgery, it is even more important to find a reliable and credible spine surgeon. Here is what to consider as you do your research to find the perfect spine surgeon for you:
- Read Reviews
Before you make a phone call to the first doctor who popped up on your Google search, make a list of at least 3-5 different spine surgeons. Then, search for reviews on each doctor. There are many review sites, like Yelp, but some review sites are strictly for healthcare (HealthGrades, Vitals, RateMDs, etc.).
Reviews tell you so much more about a doctor than what you read on their website. Most of the testimonials on their website are hand-chosen. To get a sense of real reviews, visit a review site! You will get to read all the good reviews and all the bad ones. You won’t only get an idea about the doctor’s qualifications, but you will also learn about how personal he is and how he treats his patients.
If the doctors you are viewing have an overall rating under 3 stars, cross them off your list. When it comes to surgery, you can’t settle for just average.
- Check Credentials
You can usually learn about a doctor’s credentials on their website, from their licenses to their experience to their specialties. Look for keywords like spine, back, or spinal injuries! The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery certifies Spine Surgeons, so if they don’t have this credential, cross them off your list immediately!
Your spine and neck are complex areas of your body, and some back specialists only treat certain conditions. If you know your specific issue, look for a doctor that has a background treating that condition. If you are seeking spine surgery, find a doctor who has experience in performing spine surgery.
- Meet the Doctor
Once you have found a qualified doctor with great reviews, set up an appointment to meet him and ask for an evaluation. Think of this is a test drive for a new car. Use this initial meeting to get a feel for the doctor. Is the doctor personable, friendly, and knowledgeable? You don’t have to say schedule a time for surgery before you leave, so don’t feel pressured. If you feel like the doctor is being pushy, it may not be a good fit for you.
Try to make an initial appointment with two different doctors. Take a little bit of time to dwell on each visit, and get an idea of who you think will be the right spine surgeon for you. Once you have found the doctor of your choice, call their office to schedule your next visit.
- Ask Questions
When you meet with the doctor, ask plenty of questions! Don’t be nervous to ask questions about their experience. They understand surgery is a big deal. While you are asking these questions, notice if they are being short or if they are being thorough and making sure you understand the process. A doctor who is giving short answers is not a good sign. Here are some questions you should ask the doctor during the visit:
- How many times have you performed this specific type of surgery?
- What do you recommend?
- What is the success rate for this type of surgery?
- How long does the procedure take?
- How long is the recovery process?
- Are you board-certified?
- Are you fellowship trained in spine surgery?
Your First Choice for Spine Surgery in San Antonio
The South Texas Spinal Institute understands that not all pain is the same, just like not all doctors are the same. That’s why we’ve done all the extensive research for you! We gathered the best spine doctors who are passionate about one thing: helping you. The best part? They are all available at the South Texas Spinal Clinic.
Don’t spend one more moment living in pain. Give us a call at (210)614-6432 to start your pain-free journey today.