Approving Your Physician

News Note

By Darren Buford

Originally published in Body Sense magazine, August/Winter 2005.

Does your doctor’s age affect your confidence in her? While a youthful physician may not understand exam room nuances and how to handle delicate issues, an older physician may be too set in her ways and not up to date on the latest medical advances. Though there is no perfect M.D., Bottom Line Health suggests three factors to consider when choosing a physician.

First, take into account her responsiveness. Is your physician always rushed, inattentive, and uncaring about your concerns? Do you feel like a number? If this is a problem, move on.

Second, consider the hospital itself. Is the doctor part of a reputable establishment? If so, her credentials will be reviewed regularly. (For information about the nation’s top facilities, visit hosptl/tophosp.htm.)

Finally, your doctor must be board certified. Not only does this require completing an approved residency program, but also passing a board certification exam. And, doctors must recertify every 10 years. To find out more about your doctor’s certification, call the American Board of Medical Specialties at 866/275-2267 or visit