Choosing the Right Doctor for You and Your Family

(Family Features) What matters to you when finding a doctor to treat you or your family members?

A recent survey commissioned by the American Board of Medical Specialties found that four out of five people ranked Board Certification as an important factor when selecting a doctor, second only to whether the doctor is covered by their insurance.

Choosing a new doctor is an important decision that nearly everyone experiences at one time or another, whether it’s finding a new family physician or pediatrician after a move or searching for a specialist after being diagnosed with a condition such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

When selecting a physician, you want to know the doctor you choose is qualified and that you and your family will receive the best care. Board Certified doctors hold themselves to a higher standard and have demonstrated their knowledge and expertise in their specialty. This higher standard has been found to be important to patients.

“Choosing a doctor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your health,” said Richard E. Hawkins, MD, president and chief executive officer, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the leading not-for-profit organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. “Today’s patients have a greater expectation for quality. Board Certified physicians offer people confidence that their doctor has the specialized knowledge, skills and clinical judgment to provide the high-quality care they expect and deserve.”

What is Board Certification?
Board Certification is recognized as the premier standard and assessment system for specialty and subspecialty expertise in medical, surgical and hospital disciplines.

  • Board Certified doctors are experts in their specialties. Doctors who choose to be Board Certified are required to demonstrate their specialized knowledge in their area of practice.
  • Board Certified doctors have met a higher standard. To be Board Certified, doctors successfully complete extensive training and assessment beyond that of their non-Board Certified peers.
  • Not all doctors are Board Certified. Board Certification is voluntary, and more than 880,000 doctors in the United States are ABMS Board Certified in 40 specialties and 87 subspecialties.  
  • Find out if a doctor is Board Certified. This simple search tool allows you to check if your doctor, or one you are considering, is Board Certified. CertificationMatters.org, a website of ABMS, also features information about how doctors earn Board Certification, its importance to quality care and why the credential matters. Additional resources include links to prominent health care and consumer advocacy organizations.

To find a Board Certified doctor near you, visit CertificationMatters.org.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
American Board of Medical Specialties

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