It is always difficult choosing a doctor if you are not sure what to look for. This is particularly true for surgeons and specialists, as you want to make sure any surgical procedures are performed by a surgeon with excellent knowledge and education in their field of study, and you want your surgical outcome to be the best possible for your future comfort and function.
1. Look for a Podiatrist who is board certified.
If you are interested in having a surgical procedure, or being evaluated for a problem that might require surgical intervention, look for a Podiatrist in Las Vegas who is board certified by a SURGICAL board. There are only 2 surgical boards for Podiatrists: 1) The American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgeons (ABFAS) and the American Board of Lower Extremity Surgery (ABLES).
2. Read about the residency training and licensure history of the Podiatrist or Physician.
In Podiatry, a 3-year surgical residency, or a 2 year surgical residency with a fellowship is the highest level of residency training a physician can obtain. Make sure their residency was ‘accredited’ and accepted by the National Board of Podiatric Medicine. Also, look to make sure a physician/surgeon has not lost his/her license in another state, or has any action against them.
3. Read Reviews
Yelp, ZocDoc, Google Places, Findatopphysician.com, and others are sites that you can see reviews of other patients about their experiences. We all know that not every review is written by people that have good intentions. All physicians have bad reviews from patients who might be disgruntled with billing procedures or when a patient may have a specific treatment or goal in mind, and the doctor has a different diagnosis or perspective. But those reviews are usually lengthy and do not actually review the recommended treatments or experience, but are more of a complaint session. It it usually easy to spot a review that is legitimate and a complaint that is reasonable. There is nothing better than getting information from patients who have experienced the practice and the doctors.
4. Call the office or your insurance company to see if the Podiatrist is accepted by your insurance plan.
You have in-network and out-of-network benefits, usually, with your medical insurance plan. If you see a physician that is out-of-network, your copay and your bills will be higher, as the companies have less coverage for out-of-network providers
5. Schedule A Consultation
You should always schedule a consultation with any physician or Podiatrist you are considering. Not everyone ‘jives’ with or gets along with everyone. Having a physician that takes his/her time with you to examine your issue and to explain things to you is very important. One of the biggest reasons people are unhappy with medical treatment is if they feel the doctor rushed them or did not take the time to explain the patient’s pathology. Take this time to ask questions about their credentials, relevant experience, specialties (or you can usually read a physician’s Bio on their website or internet). This will give you the opportunity to see how you connect and interact with the doctor. If they answer all questions with solid answers and you feel comfortable with them, you should certainly add them to the top of your list of possibilities.
DO NOT SCHEDULE SURGERY WITH A PHYSICIAN YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH! And understand exactly what the surgical plan is, if you should decide to move forward with surgery.