Which Doctor Should You Choose?

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Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, welcomed Dr. Ann Hester to provide another commentary in a series.

The Dr. Ann Hester Commentaries

So you need a choose a new doctor. This decision can have tremendous implications. With so much to consider, where do you begin? There are several factors to consider when choosing a healthcare professional. These are some steps you can take to make the process easier:

  1. Determine your personal needs and preferences:
    • Consider the type of doctor you need based on your medical concerns or conditions. You may need a primary care physician who has a broad reach if you have no specific medical issues. But you may need a specialist if you have a complicated medical problem.
    • Consider your personal preferences. What matters to you? Do you seek a doctor of a specific gender, age, communication style, or cultural background?
  1. Get recommendations:
    • Ask family and friends for recommendations. Whom do they recommend, and whom do they suggest you avoid? Why do they feel that way?
    • Consult your current healthcare providers, such as your primary care physician, for suggestions and referrals.
    • Use online resources, like doctor review websites or local healthcare directories. Pay attention to trends in reviews. One bad review and many good ones may reflect an angry patient rather than the quality of care received.
  1. Verify credentials and qualifications:
    • Please make sure the doctor is licensed and board-certified in their respective field. A doctor with a background in family medicine may or may not be qualified to perform cosmetic procedures. There are continuing education classes and training programs to train physicians to do procedures that they did not learn in training.
    • Check the doctor’s educational background, training, and affiliations with reputable medical institutions.
    • Check for prior malpractice claims or disciplinary actions through state medical boards.
  1. Consider the logistics and practicality of the physician:
    • Consider the doctor’s location and office hours. Are they convenient for you?
    • Ask if the doctor accepts your health insurance. If not, are there reasonable self-pay options?
    • Consider the availability of appointments and the doctor’s approach to urgent or after-hours care.
  1. Research online patient reviews and satisfaction scores:
    • Read online reviews and testimonials from patients who have seen that doctor and consider their experiences.
    • Pay attention to communication skills, bedside manner, wait times, and overall satisfaction.
    • Remember, individual experiences can vary, so consider the overall patterns and trends in the feedback.
  1. Schedule an initial consultation:
    • Evaluate their approach to care, treatment philosophies, and experience with your specific health concerns.
    • Please consider how well they listen, communicate, and respond to your questions and concerns.
  1. Trust your instincts:
    • Examine your interactions and overall comfort level during the consultation.
    • Trust your gut feeling and choose a doctor with whom you feel respected and valued.

Selecting a doctor is a highly personal decision. Finding someone who aligns with your healthcare needs and makes you feel comfortable is essential. Feel free to reassess your choice if you feel the need to switch doctors in the future.


Ann M. Hester, M.D. is a board-certified internist with over 25 years of experience. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Dr. Hester believes when patients are taught exceptional “patient skills,” they become empowered to play a previously unimagined role in optimizing their medical care and minimizing medical costs. Her mission is to share these critical skills by various means, thereby improving patient outcomes and strengthening the U.S. healthcare system. This mission started in medical school when she witnessed the tremendous gap between how patients and doctors think. Over the years, she has written various patient empowerment pieces online and through books. Her latest book is Patient Empowerment 101: More than a book, it’s an adventure! This unique work takes an unprecedented step in helping people think more like doctors and position themselves at the center of their healthcare team.

Learn more at https://www.patientempowerment101.com.


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