7 Tips for Choosing the Right OB/GYN

Finding a health care professional can be a difficult task that becomes even more complicated if you’re looking for an OB/GYN. It is important for you to feel good about your gynecologist or obstetrician. It’s okay if you try out two or three before you find one you are comfortable with. Here are seven tips to help you choose a physician you can rely on.

1. Check with your insurance.

You’ll want to be sure the OB/GYN you select is in your network and covered by your insurance policy. Out-of-network costs can add up quickly.

2. Do they practice both gynecology and obstetrics?

Sometimes doctors focus on one aspect and not another. Make sure your choice provides both services so you are covered if you are pregnant but can also see the same physician for routine exams. This ensures continuity of care.

3. Check out their experience.

It’s important that the OB/GYN you choose is board-certified. Gynecologists are typically certified through professional organizations such as the ACOG or American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. You may also ask them how long they’ve been practicing.

4. Do they meet your health needs?

If you have a condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or have experienced problematic past pregnancies, choosing a caregiver is even more important. Do the research and know exactly the type of care your OB/GYN can provide for you. Even if this position is not in your network, you may be able to receive an exception if you have specific care needs.

5. Do they listen?

Most of the time, doctors are compassionate and respectful. These are especially important qualities for a physician you will be discussing intimate details with. You need to be able to hold a conversation with them. If they always seem short on time, judgmental, or uninterested in what you have to say, you will not be comfortable discussing things like family planning, sex, fears, and other such information with them. You need to feel like you can trust them as a professional. It’s important for a physician to listen to your questions and concerns and go over any medical diagnosis you may receive. The OB/GYN you choose should be patient enough to sit and talk with you about these types of things.

6. Think about convenience.

Is the office located in an area that makes it convenient for you to make appointments? It should be close to work or home. This may not seem too significant, however, if you become pregnant, or plan to, then you’ll be going more frequently and a conveniently located office is a big deal. Also, do they answer calls after hours or on weekends? How do they handle emergencies? What happens to a message you lean with the office staff? Will they call you back in a timely fashion? These are important considerations when choosing a health professional.

7. Do they share your same values?

This may seem odd, but it is simple. If you are going to the physician for contraception, and they do not believe in birth control, you can get yourself in a bind. Make sure they hold the same values and can work with you on the decisions you make for your body.

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Dr. Arthur Greenwood, MD is an obstetrics & gynecology specialist in Leonardtown, MD.