One of the most common medical referrals is for patients to visit an Ears, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Specialist for long-term issues and disorders that appear in these areas of the body. In many cases, there are several ENT Specialist options from which to choose. Making this decision can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have experience with an ENT Specialist. When you make this decision for your loved ones, it is just as important. If your regular physician or pediatrician refers you to an ENT Specialist, there are some things to consider first.
Before You Make an Appointment
It is vital to choose an ENT Specialist you think will be an excellent fit for you and your needs. There are several steps to consider when weighing the pros and cons of your options and then determine which ENT Specialist you would like to see.
1. Obtain a Referral List from Your Physician
If you require an ENT Specialist, your primary physician or pediatrician for your children will have a list readily available. In most cases, they will have all the nearby options listed and then make a personal recommendation based on their professional opinion. They have worked directly with these specialists and have to communicate directly with their offices. While your doctor’s professional advice may be the ENT Specialist you end up choosing, you still need to continue with the search and make the selection that is right for you.
2. Research the Credentials
When you seek an ENT Specialist for you or your loved one, one of the first things you need to know is what makes them qualified in their profession. When someone becomes a certified ENT Specialist, there are specific credentials that these specialists must obtain. Do they have their board certification? You can check their certification online at the state website. Any malpractice claims or certification removal will be available in this information.
3. Length of Experience
After you have checked on the credentials of the ENT, you should look at their length of experience. Those who have recently entered the field may not have many reviews and could be something to consider before you make your final decision. Those with more experience can ease most anxieties you have with having to go to a specialist. Chances are they have seen their share of ENT issues and can perform the procedure you need. Feel free to call their office and inquire about how many procedures they have completed successfully.
4. Flexibility with Scheduling and Telehealth
With so many of us having to work or maintain other responsibilities, it is critical to find an office that will work with you and meet your scheduling needs. See what time of the week their office is open. If they have limited hours, it is a great idea to ask about telehealth appointments. These are great for follow-up appointments and check-ins where lab work is not needed, and you can visit the doctor remotely. They are growing substantially across the medical industry due to the convenience of these appointments.
5. Other Patient Experiences
A great way to find out what kind of personality the ENT Specialist has is to read other patient reviews about this doctor and their interactions with them. Patient reviews will come in both good and bad, discussing communication, visits, and the quality of procedures that they encountered while they were working with this doctor.
You can also get an idea about how the office itself operates from these reviews. While the doctor may be great to see, longer wait times and scheduling appointments may be more complicated than it should be.
6. Know Who Is In Your Network
Most insurance companies have a network of doctors and specialists that they will cover in your health insurance policy. Know which doctors are available in your health insurance policy and where you can use your health insurance policy. Because these procedures can be costly and multiple visits required, you want to choose an ENT specialist covered by your health insurance provider.
Can I Switch After My Initial Appointment?
If you go to your first appointment with an ENT Specialist and are still not satisfied, you can always make a switch. There are a couple of things to consider during the initial meeting to determine if your current ENT Specialist is right for you.
How is Communication?
Do you feel as though you can openly communicate with your doctor? If so, then this ENT may be the right option for you. It would be best if you openly expressed with your doctor, let them know what is going on, and feel respected when speaking. A right ENT Specialist will listen to your concerns and take notes about your case. Make sure that your doctor is answering questions and communicating in a way that you can understand. You do not want to leave your appointment more confused than you arrived.
Are You Comfortable?
Some patients are more comfortable with doctors that are the same gender as them. When providing confidential and some very personal information, some patients find it more comfortable to relay that information to a person of the same gender. Not all patients realize how important this may be to them until after they have met with an ENT Specialist and find it difficult to tell them what is going on.
Moving Forward With Your ENT Specialist
There are several steps to pursuing the right ENT Specialist, and at times it can be overwhelming. Finding the right ENT Specialist for you is crucial because you will most likely be visiting them long-term. Their specialization means that they are treating disorders that could adversely affect your health, so you need to feel comfortable and trust your doctor’s judgment.
If you are in the West Hills or Encino area and looking for a qualified and supportive ENT Specialist, our team at C/V ENT Surgical Group has a doctor for you. We strive to offer a comfortable atmosphere for our adult and pediatric patients.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or would like more information, we would be happy to speak with you. Our West Hills office is available at 818-888-7878 and our Encino office at 818-986-1200.