Few other factors will have as major an impact on your overall quality of life as maintaining your health and physical wellbeing. Steps such as eating a proper diet, exercising, and keeping up with routine medical appointments all work together to keep you healthy and increase your level of happiness. Perhaps you have already made a habit of these. You may keep up with an exercise routine, and you may even have a physician whom you see regularly. Yet there are times when you will need to seek out the attention of a medical specialist. If your reason for doing so involves the esophagus, small intestine, stomach, rectum, or colon, that specialist will likely be a gastroenterologist.
The need to see a gastroenterologist can range from recommended screenings such as colonoscopies, to ailments such as GERD, and beyond. Whatever the reason for your visit, you’ll want to take the time and care to ensure that you have chosen the doctor who will best suit your needs. Your chosen physician should be knowledgeable, skilled, and make you feel at ease. You should have the upmost confidence in their abilities and trust in their medical expertise. There will be plenty of candidates to choose from, but how do you know which of these doctors is right for you?
To help you in reaching your decision, we have put together five determining factors that should play a vital role in your search:
- Experience – While all gastroenterologists may have completed the same number of years in medical school and residency, some will have more experience with particular conditions and procedures than others. If you are scheduling an appointment for a colonoscopy, for instance, you’ll want to find a doctor who has completed many throughout his or her career. You’ll also need to ask questions about their accuracy with the procedure. Find out how often they find polyps and how many perforations they have had. Educating yourself about your particular procedure, as well as the standards and expectations that surround it will make your decision much easier.
- Reputation – All physicians have a reputation within their field. Some will be better known than others, and this is often due to the higher quality of care that they provide. To determine which physicians are most highly recommended, ask your friends and colleagues, search for online reviews, or ask your primary care doctor for a referral. Practices such as Gastroenterology Associates will offer several highly qualified doctors within one practice. Chances are, if you are asking for referrals for a gastroenterologist in the Baton Rouge area, you will hear the names of some of our physicians.
- Training – Find out where your potential doctor attended medical school and where they completed their residency and internship. Learn what other facilities and physicians they have been associated with, along with any details regarding continuing education. To have complete confidence in your doctor, you will want to find one who has not only received the highest level of education, but who has also devoted their time to keeping up with developments and changes in their field.
- Board Certification – A board certified doctor is one who has invested a great amount of time in their continuing education. These physicians have undergone a rigorous process to remain up-to-date on all aspects of their specialty. Not only do they study and complete testing to obtain their certification, but they also must take a Maintenance of Certification exam every ten years to keep their board certified status.
- Location – While a physician’s overall qualifications should be the primary deciding factor, location will play a big role as well. You will want to find a doctor who is highly qualified and whose practice is easily accessible from your home or office. If you are in or around the Baton Rouge area, Gastroenterology Associates may offer the perfect solution. Our primary office is centrally located in Baton Rouge, and we now also have locations in Zachary and Livingston. No matter where you are in the greater Baton Rouge area, we have an office with skilled gastroenterologists nearby.
Choosing the right gastroenterologist for your needs can be an overwhelming decision. You want to find someone with whom you are comfortable and who is also able to offer you the highest standard of healthcare. Taking each of the five points we have mentioned into consideration will help guide you to the physician who is best suited for your needs.
If you would like to learn more about our doctors, please visit our Physicians page located here. And if you are ready to schedule your appointment, please contact us by telephone at (225) 927-1190, or complete our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you achieve your ideal level of health and wellbeing.
Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician. Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.