Are you looking for the right cardiologist to help manage your heart disease?
It takes some time and research, but it’s worth it to find a doctor who meets your needs.
Here are some steps to get you started:
- Ask your primary care provider. Share your needs and preferences for a cardiologist with your primary care provider. They should be able to identify some cardiologists who may be a good fit for you.
- Do your own research. You can find out about local cardiologists online, through friends and family, and by contacting hospitals in your area. It can be tempting to rely solely on an online search for names, but that may not always provide the information you need to find a great cardiologist. Hospitals often will have bios online for specialists, so you can learn some information about local cardiologists in advance. For example, you may want to consider the cardiologist’s location, specialties or languages spoken.
- Check with your insurance company. If you have health insurance, you likely will want to work with a cardiologist who is covered under your plan.
- Don’t choose a doctor just because everyone claims they are the best. The best cardiologist for one woman may not be the best for you.
Make the most of your first appointment
At your first appointment with a cardiologist, pay attention to their bedside manner. A good cardiologist will ask probing questions and try to sift out the most important details of your medical history. They will also address prevention.
Take notes or ask if you can record the conversation, so you can go through any information later. Aim for a doctor who will spend time to answer your questions and who will take your concerns seriously.
Finding a doctor you feel comfortable with and whose communication style matches yours is another important factor in choosing the right doctor to treat your heart health. Do you prefer someone who is very straightforward?
Is a nurturing, friendly demeanor important to you? Is a combination of those qualities and traits closer to what you’re looking for? Think about this personality match as you get to know the cardiologist.
Don’t be shy about asking a lot of questions. Ask for clarification or more information if needed.
Be a good patient
Honesty is the key to a positive patient/doctor relationship. While it can be intimidating to share the details of your family medical history, eating habits and exercise routine (or lack thereof), all of this information is vital to the overall picture that your cardiologist needs.
Coming prepared to your appointment will also strengthen your patient/doctor relationship. Be sure to have a list of your current medications with exact dosages and a list of any questions you have.
Develop a positive relationship
The value of establishing a trusting relationship with your cardiologist is important if you’re living with heart disease. Having a positive relationship with your cardiologist will help you feel more at ease when dealing with any heart-related issues that may arise.