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Relying On Friend's Recommendations When Selecting Professionals

Written by:  Dr. Dennis W. Neder

You have to make the right calls when your health is at stake. Whether it's with primary health concerns or you need a specialist, choosing the right doctor is crucial. It’s a very personal decision as your needs are different from someone else’s and there are many factors that will drive it.

So, how do you find a doctor when you to discuss a medical issue or have a question? Do you ask friends and family for recommendations? Do you search the web to find someone who is highly reviewed? These are the most common choices most of us use, but they are rarely the most reliable ones. You might find a credible doctor that meets your needs perfectly but it’s more likely that you’ll only find more questions than answers.

Today’s internet has become little better than the old “Yellow Pages”. We used to look through listings and ads trying to find the best choices only to have to call or visit and by that time, you had already invested more time than you had with no real value. Most would just give up, stick with the last doctor they found and hope for the best.


Why Do You Need to Find the Right Doctor?

This seems like an obvious question, but we almost never really consider it. The work involved can be far more than we can afford to invest. Instead, most people work to find justifications for their choices or, if things don’t work out, excuses.

Certainly, your health and the health of your family is worth the effort. You can’t really risk making the wrong choice, but how do you go about it? What tools do you have?

Then, there are other non-specific factors involved like cost, distance, appointment availability, access when you need, someone willing to spend the time to answer all your questions. Then you need to wonder, do they take my insurance and how much will it cover? What about long-term issues? Can you book or change your appointment online? Will the doctor be transparent about treatment options or are then locked into specific choices?

Research shows that people who develop a strong bond with their primary care provider are often more satisfied. It makes sense as good communication and collaboration between the doctor and patient leads to trust and that helps the patients to follow through on course of treatment. Trusting patients are more likely to get recommended tests and check-ups, more likely to rely on recommendations and more likely to avoid “internet medicine”.


Finding the Right Doctor, the Right Way

The internet promised to be all the information you wanted and needed right at your fingertips. How beautiful! That is, until the marketers got in the way. Now information is shoved at us and rarely has much to do with what we really want or need. Most people have just become numb to it all. They take what they have simply because there’s nothing better.

If that’s where you are, let’s look at how to make it work for you.

First, don’t accept someone else’s word for what you need. You know better than they do! Of course, look to see who looks the best to you and who “checks all your boxes”, but understand that simply seeing it on the internet isn’t proof that one professional or another is the right one for you.

Be absolutely clear on your priorities. What’s the most important thing you’re looking for? Is it price? Is it experience? What about case history? What about the types of products they offer or who will be performing the service? Do they take your insurance and if they do, who bills the company – you or them?

Thus, narrow your search and plan to spend a bit of time proving out what you found. Many doctors offer a free consultation where you can go and get your specific questions answered. But again, you have to be careful. Many of these “free” consultations are only free if you agree to spend money with them!

Once you have it down to a very narrow list (no more than 3) review what they offer and what you need and pick the best one for you and your family.


But, there is another way!

Rankipedia was created by professionals to address these very specific concerns. It does the leg work for you. By knowing the industries it ranks and rates extremely well, Rankipedia will do most, if not all, the leg work for you.

You can use Rankipedia by simply telling it what your priorities are and let it do the review of providers in your area who match. Then, it’ll custom rank them for you.

When you get the list, you can explore much more deeply to discover all the details about this professional including examples of their work, their reviews (of course!), their education and experience and even drill-down to learn exactly what all that information actually means.

Here’s one of the best parts: Rankipedia is intelligent. It uses “Artificial Intelligence” (“AI”) to help you compare professionals, even by interpreting what other users wanted and how closely their needs match yours.

Not only do you get to see how others rate the doctor’s work, but you can also see how other doctors rate the work! Imagine that kind of information. It’s like having all the other doctors in your area reviewing your needs.

Talk about a time-and-energy saver!