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Lifestyle and Beauty

Choosing the Right Specialist Doctor: Useful Tips

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Most people have a general practitioner (GP) who will offer general medical attention when the need arises. However, there may be times when you need to seek a specialist doctor for a specific ailment. A specialist doctor comes in handy when you need to have a more thorough medical examination. These are experienced medical practitioners who treat conditions that they specialise in, such as gynaecological conditions, breast issues, respiratory and skin problems.

In this article, we share some tips that will help you choose the right specialist doctor in Singapore based on your medical condition.

Narrow Down to the Care You Need

Getting a specialist doctor not only helps to diagnose your medical condition but will also help in coming up with the best treatment plan for you. As such, you will need to narrow down on your ailment before you can start looking for a specialist doctor who specializes in the same line of care.

There are hundreds of specialists out there. Some common specialists include gynaecologists who specialise in treating gynaecological issues in women, dermatologists for skin-related conditions, or a breast specialist who can diagnose, treat or manage breast cancer. 

For better results, try to figure out the best speciality based on your specific set of symptoms. According to The Singapore Medical Council (SMC), more than 15,000 medical practitioners are available in Singapore. This should give you confidence that no matter your condition, you should be able to find a specialist to work with.

Referrals From GP or Family and Friends

If you require medical attention from a specialist, you can consult your family doctor or general practitioner. Since your family doctor will most likely have records of your medical history, they will be able to recommend a specialist doctor for your specific ailment.

If you don’t have a family GP, you can also consult with friends or relatives who may know of someone in their circle that can help with your condition. Such referrals are beneficial because they come from the people you trust, and families will often be keen to give you their honest opinion about the specialist doctor they know or have had an experience with.

Familiarise Yourself with Your Condition 

As a patient, getting the right specialist boils down to understanding your condition better. As such, it is important to do some research on the common symptoms and whether your condition is serious. Having a general idea of your condition can help you in finding the right specialist.

You may even consider discussing your symptoms with close friends or relatives to see if they can come up with any referrals for a specialist doctor to treat your condition. You may be surprised to find one of them may have experienced the same or a similar condition and have a  good specialist in mind.

Consider Your Needs and Preferences

Your needs and preferences are very important when you are choosing a specialist. 

These questions may help you narrow down on your choices:

  • Do you prefer a female/male specialist? 
  • Do they speak your language well enough to communicate with you easily? 
  • Are you searching for a specialist who uses a certain treatment method or technique?
  • Does your specialist have to possess a specific qualification?

Most specialists will offer a consultation service so that they may better understand your needs before arranging the next appointments, or refer you to another specialist that is suitable for your healthcare needs.

Check Your Health Insurance

Before seeing a specialist doctor, check with your insurance company to find out what kind of coverage you have. This is particularly important if you are seeking a specialist outside your geographical proximity, as it can get expensive and might not be covered by any health plan in which case they will need to charge for their services upfront.

In some cases, you may need to make some extra payments. Determining such charges prior to meeting the specialist can prove to be cost-saving in case you need further treatments.

Research Specialist’s Credentials 

It always pays to check your preferred specialist’s credentials before meeting them in person. The internet is a great place to start as it will provide detailed information about the specialist’s qualifications, skills, and experience on their website. Did they complete their fellowship programmes? Is he/she accredited by the relevant specialist medical board? What other memberships do they have? 

A good understanding of the specialist doctor’s profile and treatment types will help you feel confident about your doctor. If you can’t find what you want from the online search, you can try calling the clinic to understand better from the clinical team about the doctor, services they offer and conditions they treat. 

Pick a Convenient Location 

The location and distance to your specialist doctor should also be a consideration if you are looking for the right specialist. For example, would it be easier to travel on weekends or during work hours? The closer the specialist’s clinic is to your residence, the more convenient it would be.

In addition, it is best to check on your specialist doctor’s admission rights to certain hospitals. Some specialists may only be accredited to certain hospitals and may not be able to admit patients to other hospitals/ 

Make an Appointment With Your Chosen Specialist

After determining your preferred specialist doctor, it is important to contact them and set up a consultation. This will ensure that you are prepared for your first meeting with the specialist doctor as well as prepare them for any questions or concerns you may have about your condition. Make an appointment with your prefered specialist to get a feel of what you can expect in case you decide to settle with them for your treatment journey.

Some common factors to look out for during the appointment include the doctor’s experience with cases like yours, how well he answers your questions and their proposed treatment plan.

Conclusion

It is important to know that you have the power of choice when it comes to selecting a specialist doctor. These tips will come in handy when you are browsing for the perfect specialist doctor. 

At SOG, we focus on delivering premier quality specialist services to cater to your needs. We offer a wide range of medical services such as obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G), paediatrics, gynaecological cancer, cancer-related general surgery for breast, thyroid and colon (colorectal), as well as skin and aesthetics treatments. Contact us today and we will be pleased to assist you with any enquiry you may have.

WHO WE ARE

About Singapore O&G Ltd

Established in 2011, Singapore O&G Ltd. (SOG) is a leading healthcare service provider dedicated towards delivering premier medical services to women’s and children’s health and wellness at affordable prices.

With a long and established track record in Singapore providing obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) services such as pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has since further expanded its spectrum of healthcare services to include paediatrics, endocrinology, gynaecological cancer, cancer-related general surgery for breast, thyroid and colon (colorectal), as well as skin and aesthetics treatments.

The Group’s clinics, under its four operating segments of O&G, Paediatrics, Cancer-related and Dermatology, are strategically located throughout Singapore to provide easy access to its patients.

SOG has been listed in the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited since 4 June 2015.

  • Obstetrics
  • Gynaecology
  • Endocrinology
  • GynaeOncology
  • Breast, Thyroid & General Surgery
  • Colorectal, Endoscopy & General Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Paediatrics

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