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Choosing a doctor

Choosing the right doctor is a critical decision that requires some in-depth research. Very often individuals make this decision purely by which names turn up on a health insurance plan, while others choose the doctor who is closest to their homes. Although managed care has changed the way many look for and use doctors, this doesn't mean a person should remain hands-off in the selection process. Narrow down potential doctors by their specialty, academic history, proximity to home, and whether the doctor is board-certified. A doctor who is board-certified has taken several extra years of training and passed a difficult board examination. To remain board-certified, he or she sometimes must complete continuing education and periodic recertification. After the list is made, you can select two or three eligible doctors and make appointments for non-care-related interviews. This way there is the chance to gauge the doctors' personality, how well the interaction goes, and how comfortable you would feel in his or her care. The doctor who best meets this criteria is likely going to make the best fit.