Choosing a gynaecologist is one of the most important decisions a woman makes. The choice becomes even more crucial when a woman is pregnant. A gynaecologist is devoted to the reproductive care of women in general.
An obstetrician focuses on women’s care during pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and a little after delivery. Here’s a guide on choosing an obstetrician or gynaecologist depending on your present needs.
Factors to consider when choosing a gynaecologist or obstetrician
Your existing health issues
Consider your existing health issues and whether you require the services of a specialist, not just a general Obs/Gyn. You may require a specialist if you have issues like endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Knowing that your doctor has successfully treated many women with your condition gives you peace of mind which plays a crucial role not just in relaxing you but may have a positive impact on your recovery.
Reviews and recommendations
Find out what other women who have been treated by the doctor say about them. Pay attention especially to the reviews of women who have similar conditions as you and not just medical issues but also other factors like age and weight. Consider what the patients say about the doctor’s qualification, experience, behaviour, and bedside manner.
Experience and qualifications are critical. How long have they practised? What are their specialities? How many hospitals are they affiliated with? Are these hospitals trustworthy? Are there any lawsuits regarded to malpractice linked to them? Any disciplinary actions?
The doctor’s reputation is also important. You will be highly intimate with them and vulnerable in their presence so if they have unscrupulous values and behaviour linked to their names, it’s best to know in advance. You want someone you can trust who shares the same values as you as much as possible.
The availability and openness of the gynaecologist or obstetrician are key. How available and accessible is the doctor? Are they available via text/SMS? Do they respond to non-emergency queries? How do people say they responded to questions and inquiries? This is especially important for pregnant women who may be anxious and full of questions every time they notice something new.
One or two negative online reviews can be ignored but if there is a considerable number, consider that a solid red flag. Talk to friends and family, women readily and generously share this kind of information regarding their experiences. If women in your circles who you trust and other women online vouch for them, they may be worth considering.
You need a gynaecologist who you can be comfortable with which is why for many women, the doctor’s gender matters. While the argument can be made that a doctor should be chosen based on their qualifications, when it comes to things like pregnancy, delivery, and having your private parts examined, your comfort is of paramount importance and should not be lightly dismissed. If you are anxious, you may hold back on important information and even skip checks altogether.
Insurance and hospital privileges
Do they accept your insurance? You need a gynaecologist who is approved by your insurance network, or you may end up paying out-of-pocket. Also, find out if the hospitals they are affiliated with are within your insurer’s network. Do you trust these hospitals they work with? When evaluating a hospital, check for measures like:
- The percentage of patients who developed infections or complications after surgery
- Death rates for different types of conditions and procedures
- Patient’s reviews of the care and service they received
The hospital, location, and proximity to you are key considerations, especially for pregnant women.
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Schedule an initial consultation and go with your instinct
There is no substitute for testing the waters yourself and interacting with the gynaecologist or obstetrician yourself. How do they communicate? Is it similar to your communication style? Do they pay attention to you? Are they receptive to your questions or impatient? How genuine are they? How friendly? Listen to your gut and go with your instinct, trust it. One or even a couple of appointments with a gynaecologist or obstetrician is not an obligation to carry on seeing them. Trust your gut.
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