Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a specific gastroenterologist, suggests Healthgrades. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations as well, and then check the doctor's credentials before making a final decision.
You may need to get a referral from your primary care doctor anyway, notes About.com. Many insurance policies only cover specialist visits if you do that first. Verify your insurance company's requirements by calling its customer service line. You can also use this number to make sure your company covers a particular doctor.
If referrals do not give you any leads, try using the physician locator tool provided by the American College of Gastroenterology. This search tool allows you to search by location or name, notes the ACG.
Once you have found a potential doctor, research her history, suggests Healthgrades. Look up any complaints or lawsuits she might have in her past, and make sure she is currently board certified. If you are going for a specific procedure, ask about the doctor's history and experience with that procedure, as well as the types of complications she has experienced.
It's important that you get along well with your gastroenterologist, advises Healthgrades. Consider scheduling a preliminary meeting to see how the doctor interacts with patients, and make sure she is willing to answer all of your questions.