Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any advice for choosing a doctor?
Choosing a doctor is difficult. How can you find a doctor that you are sure you will be happy with? After limiting your search by specialty, location, and insurance coverage, you will still have a lot of doctors to sort through. Below are 10 factors to consider when choosing the best doctor for you.
- Personality. Are your personalities compatible? Having a doctor with a compatible personality leads to more trust and better communication, which are key to receiving great care. Friends and family can refer you to a provider with a compatible personality.
- Values. Your doctor will help guide your decisions on diet, lifestyle, preventive health measures and guide you through complicated decisions and referrals should you ever become sick. You want someone who shares the same medical, lifestyle, and ethical values as you helping guide these decisions.
- Practice style. Some people value warmth or even humor, while others value professionalism or punctuality. If the way a physician practices is compatible with your expectations, you will have a better relationship.
- Services. If you know you are going to have aesthetic treatments, or knee injections, or a wart removed, or pap smears, or any other small procedures, you should ask if the practice you are considering does those at the office. This will avoid unnecessary referrals to specialists and cut down on your overall medical cost.
- Shared interests. In addition to helping make a connection with your doctor, shared interests can also affect your care. If you both are interested in exercise, nutrition, alternative medicine, vitamins, or any other health issues, the doctor will better be able to answer questions and provide guidance.
- Practice type. Is it a small practice or large practice? A large multispecialty practice or a Mom and Pop operation? You should ask if you have a preference, because many practices appear small and independent but have actually been taken over by a large health system.
- Hospital association. Make sure you are happy with the hospital that your doctor will send you to if you become sick.
- Appointment length. Ask how long appointments are or how many patients are scheduled each day. This will give you an idea of how long your doctor will spend with you.
- Sick call. Find out if the practice keeps open appointment slots or has advanced practitioners to accommodate the need for last minute appointments. These can help avoid a minor problem becoming a big one, or an unnecessary emergency room visit.
- Practice Focus. Some doctors focus on sports medicine, or heart disease, or older patients, or women’s health, or weight loss or a number of other areas that aren't quite a specialty but do take up a majority of their practice. Choose someone with a focus that relates to your needs.
Some of this information can be found by calling a doctor’s office ahead of time and asking the receptionist or practice administrator. Much of this is harder to find, however. Referrals and reviews from people who know the physician are important. Also, we are building a resource to gather this information and help patients find a compatible doctor. Please feel free to try it out and give us feedback.
How can DocMatch help my practice?
DocMatch helps your practice by improving the quality of your patient referrals. Instead of getting referrals from serendipitous relationships and sources, your referrals will be based on shared expectations, values, and personal compatibility. This leads to decreased now shows and patient attrition. Additionally, patient compliance and satisfaction is improved.
Why should I use DocMatch?
Not all doctors are the same, and not all patients are the same. Mismatches of personality, interests, expectations, and values can all cause issues that affect a patients health. By matching doctors and patients before their relationship, we can provide better care. Consider the cases below. While no one does anything wrong, the outcomes are less than perfect:
Pete Proper goes to see Dr. Backslapper for the first time. Dr. Backslapper makes jokes and does not seem serious enough for Pete. Even though Dr. Backslapper makes appropriate treatment and health maintenance recommendations, Pete does not follow his recommendations because he does not trust him. Pete sees a different doctor two years later when he catches the flu. The new doctor wants to know why he did not get his flu shot.
Both Pete and his original doctor did what they thought was best during his initial visit. However, because of personality mismatch Pete did not get the best possible care.
Jane Crossfit is an avid athlete who goes to see Dr. Internist who mainly sees older, sicker patients. She has pain in his let shoulder while exercising and at night. Dr. Internist does a workup to look at Jane's heart. After this is normal and after several months of pain, she refers her to an orthopedist who diagnosis a shoulder injury and is able to treat it successfully.
Jane and Dr. Internist have an interest mismatch. If Dr. Internist had more interest in sports medicine, Jane could have avoided the workup to look at her heart, and months of pain.
Sarah Punctual makes an appointment to see Dr. Chatty for 11:30. Dr. Chatty prides herself on spending time at the bedside, but is unfortunately running late as usual. Sarah leaves before her appointment and misses several days of medications as a result.
Sarah and Dr. Chatty have a expectation mismatch. Dr. Chatty prioritizes individualized attention while Sarah prioritizes things running on time.
These cases all show how care can be improved by matching doctors and patients thoughtfully. DocMatch is a unique service that exists for this reason.
Can I find other specialties on DocMatch beside primary care?
Not at this time. Primary care relationships affect the entire care experience including referrals for tests and other specialties. Thus, we are focused on primary care at this time.
Can my organization use DocMatch as a supplement to our provider directory?
Yes! Health systems or ACOs are ideally positioned to benefit from cost savings and increased quality resulting from better doctor-patient matching. Please email Jon@DocMatch.com to discuss ways of customizing our software for your organization.
Can I schedule my appointment on DocMatch?
DocMatch does not focus on scheduling. Instead, we are a supplement to whatever scheduling process an office already has in place.