If you have a musculoskeletal problem that warrants surgical intervention, the success of your procedure largely depends on the clinical acumen and skills of your orthopedic surgeon. Thus, it is crucial to find one who has the right combination of these essential attributes.
However, with the thousands of practicing orthopedic surgeons in the United States, searching for the right one for you can be challenging and time-consuming.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips to help streamline your search and make the decision-making process easier.
Ask for referrals.
If you have health insurance, it is best to ask your primary care physician (PCP) for a referral, as there are health insurances that do not cover the costs of health care unless patients obtain a referral from their PCPs.
If you don’t have insurance, you can also ask your family members, friends, and other people you trust for recommendations in addition to your PCP’s referral. You can also search the Internet for a reliable orthopedic surgeon within your area.
You may need to see your orthopedic surgeon several times after your surgery, so you will want to choose one whose office is close by to lessen your travel burden and ensure you can show up for your appointments.
Check the surgeon’s credentials and background.
As with selecting any other type of healthcare professional with whom to entrust your care, board certification is a prime consideration when choosing an orthopedic surgeon. Board certification is a good gauge of competence and training and thus gives you the assurance that the physician you’re working with is qualified and knowledgeable.
You can verify the orthopedic surgeon’s board certification status using the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS).
Additionally, you can use the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) website to check whether the orthopedic surgeon has a clean track record— with no history of disciplinary action or malpractice cases.
Reviews can help you decide with greater confidence and give you an idea of the quality of service you will get from the orthopedic surgeon and the staff.
Google My Business and Healthgrades are some of the tools you can access to learn about the online reputation of orthopedic surgeons. You can also find some on the practice’s website and/or their social media page.
Make sure to look for detailed ones, such as those that talk about wait times, treatment outcomes, ease of booking appointments, and staff friendliness.
Schedule an appointment with the surgeon.
When choosing an orthopedic surgeon, also consider their bedside manner and your compatibility with them in addition to their skills and competence. One foolproof way to ascertain these is to make an in-person appointment.
The right one will take the time to listen to and understand your concerns, make you feel at ease, explain your treatment options in words you perfectly understand, and truly care about the outcome of your treatment and your overall health.
Pay attention to the doctor’s body language and communication style. If you are comfortable talking to them and confident that they can deliver your desired outcome, they are likely the one you want to establish a relationship with.
Orthopedic Surgeon Near Me in Johnson City, Kingsport, or Bristol, TN
At Watauga Orthopaedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are recognized experts in the northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia communities, providing unparalleled care for the residents for more than seven decades. When you get seen by one of our orthopedic surgeons, you can rest assured that you are under the care of a highly experienced doctor who is genuinely concerned about your health and overall well-being and committed to giving you an exceptional treatment outcome.