A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in diseases of the digestive system, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), and biliary system (e.g., liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts).
If you have been referred to a gastroenterologist, you may have questions about how to find a specialist that is right for you. Here are three qualities to look for in a gastroenterologist:
1. Highly Recommended by other Medical Doctors
Start your search for a gastroenterologist by requesting a list of referrals from your primary care physician. The best gastroenterologists in your area will be well-known in the medical community. Ask your doctor to describe the gastroenterologist’s “bedside” manner, if they spend any of their time conducting research or clinical trials, and if they are known for a particular specialty within their area of expertise. These are important perspectives that you may not be able to capture through generic online research. If you feel you would like additional names for consideration, you can also ask family, friends and other healthcare providers for recommendations.
2. Highly Recommended by other Patients
Once you have refined your list of candidates down to a handful highly recommended doctors, then you will need to conduct some online research. Take the time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience on websites that offer background information on practicing physicians. Read online patient reviews from multiple trusted sources. Try to find out about the entire patient experience – from booking an appointment to handling insurance issues. Good doctors understand the importance of a positive patient experience and invest the time and energy to ensure their office staff also serves their patients equally well.
3. Board Certification and Hospital Privileges
Board certification is one of your most important considerations when choosing a gastroenterologist. Board certification indicates that the doctor has the necessary training, skills and experience to provide quality care. Gastroenterologists are board certified specialists in both internal medicine and gastroenterology. In addition to ensuring you will receive quality care from your gastroenterologist, you will also need to consider if you are willing to be treated at the hospital where the gastroenterologist has privileges. Hospital quality matters to you because patients at top-rated hospitals have fewer complications and better survival rates.
If you are looking for a gastroenterologist, then you have come to the right place. Contact Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health today to schedule your appointment with a board certified gastroenterologist.
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