Tips for Choosing a Doctor
When you look for a doctor, look for someone who:
- Is a board-certified doctor. Cancer patients may see many doctors. While board certification does not guarantee a good doctor, it does mean the doctor has had extra training and passed tough national tests in a specialty. For example, you can find out which medical oncologists (cancer specialists) are board certified in oncology by checking with the American Board of Internal Medicine at www.abim.org. Look for the box, Verify a Physician's Certification, and search by name. You can also search for a board-certified doctor on the website of the American Board of Medical Specialties at www.abms.org or call 866-275-2267.
- Is affiliated with an accredited hospital or health care center. Accredited care centers have to meet standards that unaccredited institutions do not. The Joint Commission is a nonprofit group that sets standards and measures the quality of hospitals and other health care centers. You can reach the Joint Commission at 630-792-5000 or at www.jointcommission.org.
Also look for a doctor who:
- Appreciates that you are trusting him or her with your life.
- Can communicate information effectively.
- Listens to you and treats you with respect.
- Is accessible and returns calls.
- Embraces new information and isn't threatened by it.
- Has a great staff.
- Accepts your insurance coverage or will accept a payment plan that works for you.