Pratter wants to provide you with cost effective, high quality options for routine elective medical care. Elective medical care means non-emergent. This is also referred to as outpatient care, meaning medical care provided that does not require you to stay overnight in the hospital (this is called inpatient).
The categories of care for which you have time to shop for great pricing and great care include blood work, imaging studies (e.g., MRIs and CTs) and elective medical procedures (e.g. colonoscopies, cataract surgeries and carpal tunnel surgeries). There is no quality issue to discuss for blood work and imaging studies since they do not even require a physician to be performed.
If you are seeking a high quality physician for an elective medical procedure, though, consider the following:
1) Board certification.Verify that your doctor is board certified by one of the 24 medical specialties under the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) umbrella at: http://www.certificationmatters.org
2) Training locations. This includes both medical school and residency program. There are three ways to learn where a doctor has been trained with those that are American university-trained being most frequently held in high regard.
- Check the doctor’s website.
- Check the hospital’s website. Hospitals go to great length to verify a physician’s credentials before providing him or her with hospital privileges. This renders this technique trustworthy.
- Call the doctor’s office and ask.
3) Volume. If a doctor performs too few or too many procedures, you may wish to go elsewhere. While there is no magic number to consider, the answer to this will either add or subtract from your decision comfort level.