How to Find the Best Doctor for Your Needs

Consumers’ Checkbook for the San Francisco Bay Area has a ratings table for medical care practitioners in the area that looks at a number of important criteria, including patient recommendations and peer recommendations (other doctors).  This is a subscription service, and you have to sign up for at least the free 7-day trial period to get the list, but if you are looking for a provider, it may be worth it.  The sign-up also gives you access to a lot of other ratings such as automotive repair, financial services, pet care, etc.

When searching for a medical provider, you can consider a number of additional important information sources as well. Your first stop will likely be your insurance provider, who should have a list of “in-network” services on their website.  Insurance companies may be problematic for many reasons, and you cannot always find a physician willing to be affiliated with your company.  For mental health services in particular, insurance company reimbursement rates are often well below those given for other types of care, and you may find yourself needing to advocate for better resourcing.  See our blog post on “Get your Insurance to pay for your care” for more help in this area.

Other good sources of information about doctors are hospitals in your area, especially teaching hospitals.  A hospital can tell you which providers specialize in your condition, and also, if they teach, what subjects they are working with.  Teaching often means a doctor keeps up-to-date with new developments in the field and may have collegial relationships with others in the same field.

If you are looking for a specialist, you can also check if they are Board certified in that particular area.  Board certification requires rigorous training beyond medical school, and also updated testing and continuing education every few years.

Gateway Psychiatric is a small practice and we can’t meet everyone’s needs.  Here is another blog post where we have a few more suggestions for you.  We are committed to providing the best care we can to every patient, but there only so many hours in the day, so we have to have limits.