Deciding that it’s time to see a Louisiana orthopedic surgeon can be both a relief and a cause of anxiety at the same time. Most likely, your primary care doctor has recommended you see an orthopedic surgeon. So how do you find the best orthopedic surgeon who is right for you?
Here are important factors to keep in mind.
1. Get Referrals: To begin, ask your primary care physician for a list of referrals. Family, friends and other healthcare professionals are also good sources for recommendations. Conduct online research regarding the orthopedic surgeons’ credentials and experience. As you pare down your list, call to schedule a consultation to meet and interview each orthopedic surgeon.
2. Research the Louisiana Orthopedic Surgeon’s Credentials: Board certification is an important consideration when you are choosing an orthopedic surgeon. Certification confirms that the doctor has the essential training, skills and experience to provide expert orthopedic care. Also be sure to confirm that the orthopedic surgeon has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can research the orthopedic surgeon’s medical school, training hospital, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history on Healthgrades.com or your state’s website.
3. Consider the Orthopedic Surgeon’s Experience: When specialized medical or surgical care is required for complex orthopedic issues, the more experience an orthopedic surgeon has, the better your results are likely to be. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the orthopedic surgeon has treated, and if you know you need a certain procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and discuss any complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.
4. Consider Gender: It is important for you to feel comfortable with your Louisiana orthopedic surgeon’s gender because you will need to openly discuss personal information. Be sure to ask about his or her recent training and experience specifically related to your condition and your gender. Doctors are becoming more aware of anatomical sex differences and gender attitude variances in treating orthopedic patients. As a result, orthopedic programs specific for each gender are becoming more popular.
5. Research Hospital Quality: Your Louisiana orthopedic surgeon’s hospital is your hospital, so you’ll need to consider the quality of care at the hospital or surgery center where the orthopedic surgeon treats patients. Hospital quality is vital because patients at top-rated hospitals experience fewer complications and enjoy higher survival rates. Additionally, consider whether the hospital’s location is important to you, as frequent follow-up and rehabilitation visits will be required.
6. Evaluate Communication Style: Choose an orthopedic surgeon you can openly communicate with. When you first meet, ask a question and pay attention to how he or she responds. Does he or she welcome your questions and answer them in ways that you can understand? Find an orthopedic surgeon who shows an interest in getting to know you, who will take your treatment preferences into consideration and respect your decision-making process.
7. Review Online Patient Satisfaction Surveys: Reading what other people have to say about an orthopedic surgeon can provide insight into how a doctor practices medicine and how his or her medical practice is managed. Patient satisfaction surveys typically ask people about their experience with scheduling appointments, wait times, office environment and office friendliness. You can learn a lot about how well patients trust the surgeon, how much time they spend with their patients and how well they answer questions.
8. Know What Your Insurance Covers: 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.
If you are in need of a Louisiana orthopedic surgeon, trust the expert care of Dr. Richard Meyer. Call our office today to schedule a consultation and let’s get you feeling better!