Choosing the right doctor
Choosing the right doctor is a very important and, at times, complex problem. There is no one right way to choose a doctor, but here are some things you should consider.
1 Academic qualifications
The first thing to consider is the doctor's academic qualifications: is he or she board certified in Orthopaedic surgery and have they been recertified within the last ten years? Orthopaedic Surgeons who were board certified prior to 1986 are not required to recertify every ten years. Recertification ensures continuing competence in the boarded specialty. Do not be afraid to ask questions when you are choosing a doctor: it is your body, after all! If the office does not want to answer questions about the doctor's qualifications, you do not want to go to that doctor.
Dr. Casscells was board certified in 1989 and recertified in 1998 and 2008 for all areas of Orthopaedics. You can review his qualifications here: Dr. Casscells.
2 Is the doctor in your plan?
You probably want to stay within your insurance plan, since it will be more expensive to see a doctor outside of your plan. However, depending on how serious your problem is, you may consider seeing someone outside your plan, at least for an initial consultation. (See Section 4 below for important information.)
Casscells Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine participates in a variety of health plans; click here for a list. If your insurance plan is not accepted, call the office to see if arrangements can be made and to get an estimate of how much it might cost to go out of plan.
3 Have you heard good things about a doctor or his office?
Word of mouth is critical in evaluating a doctor. Ask your family physician, their office staff and your friends about who they might use in a similar situation.
Casscells Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine prides itself in word of mouth referrals and happy patients. Click here for testimonials.
4 Does the doctor within your plan have any financial incentives to limit your treatment?
Many patients don't realize that many plans pay financial incentives to their participating doctors to limit the treatment that they offer to their patients, such as restricting referrals only to same-plan doctors. This is the "managed" part of "managed care." There are other, more subtle ways that managed care may affect your hand problem.
Casscells Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine does not participate in any plans that pay financial incentives to limit patient care
5 How long will you have to wait in the doctor's office?
An interesting and insightful question when you are selecting a doctor is to ask the receptionist what the average wait is for the doctor. If they don't know, it means that they haven't studied this part of their practice and you might wonder if they consider your time important. If they say the average wait is an hour or more, you know that they don't respect their patients or consider their time important.
We think that your time is just as important as ours. Our goal is for the average time to be less than 15 minutes.
We hope that these suggestions will help you in deciding if you would like to make an appointment with our office.