Q:

How can I find the best doctor in my area?

A:

Quick Answer

Use websites and local resources to find doctors and specialists in a particular area, says National Institutes of Health. Contact authors of relevant journal articles to find doctors who specialize in specific treatments and conditions.

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How can I find the best doctor in my area?
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Full Answer

Finding the best doctors is difficult because rankings are based on surveys that are subjective. Outcome-based measurements make doctors in affluent areas appear better because patients are healthier, explains Steven Salzberg in Forbes Magazine. Many publications offer lists of top doctors, but these are also surveys, which tend to be more like popularity contests.

Various websites provide tools that people can use to find doctors, notes National Institutes of Health. The directory of the American Board of Medical Specialties contains biographical and professional information on doctors in each state. The American Medical Association offers a doctor-finder service that gives basic information on over 814,000 licensed physicians. Federal government websites, such as Medicare.gov, offer information about Medicare-enrolled doctors. The National Library of Medicine provides a database at PubMed that lists current medical journal articles by authors who specialize in particular treatments, but many highly qualified specialists do not publish.

Local resources include county or state medical societies, hospitals and public library directories, says National Institutes of Health. Health insurance companies maintain lists of approved providers. Doctors give recommendations when a specialist is required.

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