Help establish one of your most important relationships. Whether a person is newly diagnosed with HIV, is a long-term survivor, or is somewhere in between, having the right doctor is essential for your good health and longevity. Here are some steps to find the right doctor for your HIV needs.
Ask Your Friends
Friends are the best source of information about doctors. They can tell you how knowledgeable about HIV the doctor is, how thorough they are, if they listen, and how difficult it is to get an appointment. They can also tell you how long you have to wait when you arrive at the office and what it’s like to refill a prescription. All of these things are really important, so knowing them ahead of time makes things much easier on you.
Check Your Coverage
Much of the decision-making process is based on how you pay for medical services: insurance through your company, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), or through an entitlement program like Medicare or Medicaid. They usually dictate what doctors you can access in an affordable way. Always check with your insurer and doctor to make sure they are participating in your plan.
Do Some Research
Check a doctor-focused search engine like ZocDoc. You can find out what insurance a specific doctor takes (always follow up with a phone call to the office), see patient reviews (take them with a grain of salt), see a picture of the doctor, and see the doctor’s education history and a statement they’ve written.
Inquire About a Consultation
If you like what you’ve heard and read about the doctor it might be time to call the office and inquire about a consultation. It is at this consultation where you get the chance to tell the doctor about yourself and interview the doctor. Ask about their values, experience, if they are conservative or aggressive in their treatment style, or anything else you want to know. After all, the doctor is working for you and you are putting your trust in the doctor’s expertise to work with you to keep you healthy.
Last modified: September 27, 2018