If you’re looking for a new OB-GYN, you already know just how tough it can be out there. Not all doctors are equal, and not all of them are friendly or people you would want examining you. Here are six things that may help you shorten the search time and get the doctor you deserve.
1. Look for Someone Who Is an Actual Doctor
Believe it or not, not all clinics will let you see an OB-GYN when you come in for visits. Sometimes, clinics have nurse practitioners or nurses instead of a Gynecologist. A real OB-GYN is a physician who sees patients and specializes in female reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Even if you don’t have any issues with these issues, you should see your OB-GYN once a year for a well-woman exam.
2. Find Someone You Can Trust
There are male and female doctors practicing in this industry, and many women don’t feel comfortable seeing a male gynecologist. If you would rather be seen by a female, make sure you check the clinic’s staff. See if they run an all-female clinic.
3. Work With Someone Familiar With Menopause and HRT
As you get older, you will want to work with a specialist who understands menopause and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT is somewhat controversial, but it’s still a conversation you should have with your doctor. Many women who are initially opposed to the idea warm up to it as they are going through menopause and find that life doesn’t have to end when their periods do.
4. Work With Someone Who Delivers Babies
It might initially seem like an odd thing to ask about, but if your OB-GYN delivers babies, then you won’t have to go searching for another doctor if you decide to have children. Some doctors are also midwives so they can offer both traditional and novel healthcare services.
5. Work With Someone Who Is Familiar With a Multitude of Birth Control Options
There’s more on the market than just “the pill.” Your OB-GYN should be familiar with all forms of birth control, including all hormonal, barrier, intrauterine devices, sterilization, behavioral, and even emergency methods.
Women aren’t the only ones responsible for birth control, so ask about male birth control too.
6. Work With Someone Who Will Listen to Your Concerns and Take Their Time
This one is a bit subjective, but you should also focus on someone whom you feel takes time to understand your unique health challenges, questions, and concerns. Your doctor should never rush you out of the office, and should be able and willing to answer any questions you have after your visits.
Set up an initial interview to see if you two “click” psychologically — sometimes a doctor will have good technical skills but won’t have good bedside manners.
Finally, realize that clinics tend to change over time. Don’t be afraid to leave yours if you find you don’t like the atmosphere or your OB-GYN moves on to another practice. You don’t have to stay with your clinic if they are no longer meeting your needs.
Guest Blogger: Maria Layne has a strong passion for women’s health and is trained as a midwife and OB nurse. She often writes on health blogs about her insights and tips for women to take care of themselves.