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home | choose doctor/hospital | how to select a specialist physician

How to Select a Specialist Physician?

What to consider when selecting a specialist physician.

How do primary care providers decide who to send me to? A recent study suggests the following:

  1. medical skill,
  2. familiarity,
  3. available appointment,
  4. communication with the PCP,
  5. Personality match with the patient,
  6. returns the patient to PCP for continuing care,
  7. type of insurance coverage.

What does my primary physician suggest?

Does the suggested specialist work in the same business arrangement as my PCP?

Have my PCP and the specialist successfully shared care before?

Will the specialist provide all of my care for this problem?

What are the specialist’s credentials?

Have there been problems with my specialist? You can visit the Board of Registration in Medicine or the Maine Board of Osteopathic Licensure to see if there have been any problems with your doctor in Maine.

How capable is the facility where the specialist works?

  • Will I need complex treatment meaning that the team that cares for me needs to be highly skilled and experienced?
  • Is my community hospital appropriate for this care?

What is most important to me?

  • Does the specialist have to be in my community?
  • Am I willing to trade friendliness for competence if need be?

How do the specialists in my community of this type compare to specialists in other communities with their recommendations?


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