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What To Consider Before Deciding on The Heart Doctor Right For You

What To Consider Before Deciding on The Heart Doctor Right For You

The road to your chosen heart doctor may start with a recommendation or referral from your general practitioner, but the journey doesn’t end there, unless you want it to.  heartdoctor

Patients are taking a larger and more active role in selecting their specialists. To make the right selection, you need to gather more information. The process starts by asking some specific questions.

Do I need a generalist or a specialist?

Patients with risk factors for heart disease and warning signs like minor hypertension can have their case managed by a general practitioner. However, there is another choice.

Assuming that selecting a heart doctor is your first exposure to specialty care, you can opt to make a specialist your primary care provider. A general practitioner may still be used to coordinate certain aspects of your care, but for patients with diagnoses like end-stage heart failure, it may make more logical sense for a specialist to oversee the majority of your medical care.

Many patients aren’t aware that this is an option. It does depend on each case, but cardiologists are trained in general medical practices, like internal medicine, as well as their specialty. The trade-off is that you have to make sure they are well-versed enough in both general and specialized care to adequately provide it. If not, it is better to retain the services of a family doctor.

How do I talk to a heart surgeon?

Whether you are looking at a non-invasive procedure or a life-altering surgery; the most important thing to pay attention to when discussing the procedure with the surgeon is their level of experience.

Ask them very direct questions, including how many of these surgeries have they performed? What is their complication rate? What does their current caseload look like?

These questions give you a window into their hospital privileges and how recently they’ve performed a particular surgery. A surgeon with a full caseload generally has more experience on a day-to-day basis than a surgeon with a lighter schedule.

What do I need to know about patient interactions?

The answer to this question will give you the most insight into your potential doctor-patient relationship. It is an influential factor in the heart doctor you ultimately select.

Pay particular attention to how the specialist manages patients. What is the average wait to see the cardiologist? When they are in the appointment how attentive and knowledgeable are they? Do they follow-up with patients after each appointment?

If you can answer these questions, it will tell you decide whether or not the cardiologist is right for you.

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site.  Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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