Choosing a gynecologist that is right for you is very important and can greatly influence your overall health and well being; however, making that choice is easier said than done. So, where do you start?
A good place to start is to determine how far you are willing to travel. While there may be many gynecologists in urban areas, this is not always the case in more rural locations. Consider that it is easier to make routine appointments if the gynecologist’s office is very near your home, school or place of business. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists lists all of the properly registered gynecologists in your area. As you are choosing a gynecologist, make sure that your insurance company includes that gynecologist on their list of approved providers.
Once you have your short list of approved gynecologists, imagine what you want and expect from your gynecologist. Perhaps factors such as the doctor’s age and gender are important to you. Older doctors have more experience but younger doctors have finished training more recently. Ask about call schedules. Is this a person in a solo practice? Does she practice with a small group or a large group of gynecologists? If you need help after hours, can the doctor be reached? It may be useful to set up an initial appointment to get to know the doctor before you make your choice. Moreover, find out their thoughts on key issues like abortion and birth control methods to see how well they mesh with your own views.
Remember that when you are choosing a gynecologist, that this particular physician sees and knows more about you than even your regular internal medicine or primary care physician. Trust is paramount in this relationship and needs to be established from the start. Remember that you can always change physicians as well, so if trust is broken or if you no longer feel totally comfortable with your gynecologist, you should feel free and empowered to move on to someone that you do trust.