How to choose an Eye Surgeon (or any doctor for that matter)
Choosing a doctor is an important decision with a lot to consider.
Here we present for your review what we think would be important when going about choosing a doctor.
Choosing a Practice
No one person can do it all. Even the best trained and most talented doctors rely on an infrastructure of the practice to deliver services to you. This infrastructure consists of physical assets such as the facility and equipment and the human resources, that are the technicians, nurses, counsellors, administrators and managers. Your interaction with the practice will involve dealing with every one of these facets of the practice. Choose a practice where both the physical plant and the team members leave you feeling good.
Every practice has a philosophy or a vision that helps the organization stay focused on its mission. Organizations with a longterm vision and a defined mission are more likely to leave you satisfied with the services you receive. Make sure that the practice you choose has a patient centric philosophy that includes a long term relationship at its core. Practices that provide a fun and rewarding working environment that promotes learning and advancement for its team members enjoy the best reputation with their patients and colleagues.
In this age of globalization and commoditization many have forgotten the importance and value of a relationship. We have gotten used to automated phone attendants, ATM machines, and self-service checkout lanes at the supermarket and the airport. Sure, Costco and Home Depot have everything at the price that's right and quantities that are plentiful, but run into a problem and the gigantic crowded store turns into a pretty lonely place.
When it comes to your health you should expect more. Choose a practice where you will get personal attention from the doctor and the staff. Avoid low cost LASIK and cataract mills where you’re just another warm body on the assembly line. Pick a place where "everybody knows your name." Make sure that the doctor and the staff are not just Able, and Affable, but Available (the three A’s). What good is it to have the best doctor if your phone calls are not returned. You’re about to embark on a life-changing journey and you need a trusted guide to take you through it. You don’t want to be punching through a phone tree and leaving messages when you have a question or a problem.
Modern, clean, well organized facility means that the practice is detail oriented and cares about every aspect of patient satisfaction. A professional environment means there is less likelihood of errors, mishaps and misunderstandings.
Practice’s commitment to latest technology is paramount to great outcomes. In the 21st century the quality of care is closely tied to the equipment available for diagnosis and treatment. When you’re visiting, pay attention to the equipment, its condition, its age. A commitment to the latest and greatest technology is expensive but is worth it. It shows that the practice cares more about delivering quality care and outcomes than the bottom line.
During your visit check out the staff. Any professional, a doctor or a lawyer, must rely on a well-trained, trusted cadre of staff. What is the disposition and attitude of the staff? Do they look like they are enjoying their work? Do they take pride in what they do? Is their heart in it? Are they happy to be there? Do they seem competent and interested in their work? Dysfunctional or indifferent staff will have an effect on the quality of care you receive and your overall experience.
Research the doctor's educational background. What university, medical school, and residency program he/she graduated from. The more prestigious the school, the more prestigious is its faculty, the better the education. Doctors go through many years of rigorous training, testing and certification. Just as with anything else, the quality of the institutions attended will have an effect on the doctor's thinking, fund of knowledge, and skill set. Doctors who attend the most prestigious colleges, medical schools, and residency programs, learn from the best, and have to live up to the high expectations of their talented teachers. That means they have learned to be open minded and critical.
Doctor Skill Set
What’s the scope of procedures offered by the practice? For example, do they specialize in laser vision correction only or do the only do cataracts? It's been said that if all one has is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. You don't want to be limited in your options based on the doctor’s skill set.
Experience is a tough teacher: she tests first and teaches later. That's why you want a physician who has seen a few hundred thousand patients before they meet you. We believe it takes about 10 years before a physician gets the depth and breadth of experience necessary to comfortably handle any situation that may arise.
Look for doctors who have the stamp of approval of their peers. When you deal with a physician certified by a specialty board, you know that they have been rigorously tested for their fund of knowledge and skills. Most Boards require recertification every 10 years. That includes a review of the doctor's practice patterns and treatment methods, a retesting with examinations and minimum continuing medical education. Ophthalmologists are required to undergo recertification every 10 years.
Is the doctor a member in good standing in professional societies, such as American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons? This indicates that the doctor is well regarded by his/her peers. Is the doctor you're considering a thought leader? Is he/she serving on any committees of the societies or professional organizations? Do other doctors refer patients to the practice? A solid referral network means that other doctors regard this professional highly and feel confident in referring their patients for care.
We hope the above will help you make better decisions when it comes to your health care. Click here to learn why you should choose Benjamin Eye Institute for your Eye Care.