Dermatology is the study of the skin, which is the largest organ in the entire body. This field of medicine also covers the study of the hair and nails as well. It is the first line of defense against many pathogens, as well as being crucial for maintaining the body’s homeostasis. Dermatologists are specialists whose role is to diagnose and treat diseases relating to this organ. Choosing the right doctor in your area is a major step to protecting your skin.
Below are some factors I consider when selecting a dermatologist (near me) to work with.
Does this doctor feel right?
There are many variables when searching for a physician to work with. This is a practitioner that is going to possibly care for some very sensitive and intimate parts of your body, and it is imperative for you to have a comfortable and confident relationship with your dermatologist. It is important to create a list of the factors that are important to you because there will not be one single person who will match every item on your list. Is gender more important? Narrowing the search to only male or only female practitioners may exclude a physician with more experience. If finding the best dermatologist near me is the number one priority, then I may have to accept someone that does not have a very comforting bedside manner. When choosing a doctor, it is also important to take the hospital quality into consideration. There are websites and reviews available on the hospitals and physicians in your area, and it would be smart to do some research before making that first appointment.
Do you see residency students in the doctor’s office? When a professional takes the time to become educated and confident enough to teach others, it often shows a high level of commitment and passion towards the field. These teaching doctors also must keep their credentials and knowledge base current and cutting edge. Choosing a clinic like this can often mean more experienced practitioners are helping you with your problem, as well as cost savings from allowing the residents to work with you.
Ask for referrals
Many doctors have online profiles where patients leave comments and reviews. These reviews and patient satisfaction surveys can provide a wealth of information about the physician and their practice.
It is important to check for the dermatologist's current board certification. These doctors may have taken additional time to specialize in certain disease processes or procedures, and it is important to match your needs with a dermatologist that can rise to the occasion and take the best care of you. There are some lowered expectations in the area of dermatology by the public, as the misconception that it is a profession of glorified cosmetology.
However, while these specialists can provide many cosmetic procedures such as Botox and microdermabrasion, they also provide many necessary and life-saving treatments. The skin is the largest and one of the most important organs for self-regulation. Every treatment and procedure that dermatologists oversee can have significant and life-altering consequences. There are many issues and complications that can arise from poor dermatological care. Poorly done grafts, injectables administered in the wrong doses or locations, lasers and other procedures can cause more injuries than they were originally brought in to heal. When I am looking for the best dermatologist near me, I look on state and government websites for reviews and doctor bios. There will be information on these resources that allow you to see if the doctor has had any malpractice cases or disciplinary actions brought against them.
Educational credentials are important for choosing a quality specialist, but hands on experience is also a major factor when deciding on the right doctor. Ask the dermatologist how long they have been practicing. Is there an area or condition that they have had a lot of experience treating? Are there conditions that they have little to no experience with? An ethical doctor will have no qualms answering any of your questions about their history and practice.
What would a dermatologist near me treat?
How much would it cost to see a dermatologist?
by Christine Mae Cubar
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