Make us your home page

Daily Q&A: What tips can you give for finding the right doctor?

What tips can you offer when shopping for a doctor?

Here are some tips given to us by Dr. Margaret Lewin, Medical Director of Cinergy Health:

• Getting Started: Start with a generalist (internist or family practitioner) who can help you prevent illness, handle most problems and refer you to (and coordinate your care with) first-rate sub-specialists when needed.

• Where to look: If you have a health insurance plan which limits you to participating doctors, look at the plan's list of general internists or family practitioners and narrow it down.

• Once you've narrowed it down: Schedule an interview visit with the doctor or make an appointment for a simple problem such as a sore throat. Decide beforehand what's most important to you in the right doctor, and during the visit watch for clues such as: Are the office and staff scrupulously clean, professional? Does the doctor listen carefully and respectfully? Is the doctor willing to 'negotiate' — taking into account your personal quirks, or is the person rigid in outlook and approach?

• When you need a specialist: start by asking your internist or family physician. They should direct you to a specialist expert in your particular problem and oblige the specialist to write a consultation note to your general doctor. This lets the generalist help you coordinate your care and keeps all your records in one place should you want your records transferred elsewhere.

• If you don't feel comfortable with your current doctor: Find another one! Don't be embarrassed — after all, the two nicest people in the world can have a dreadful marriage.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to or Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: What tips can you give for finding the right doctor? 01/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 10:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa man pleads guilty to forging check for fake investment

    Personal Finance

    A Tampa resident was convicted Thursday for forging a check for a fake investment. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation said that Eric Franz Peer pleaded guilty. He served 11 months in jail and will have to pay $18,000.

  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses


    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Terrier Tri brings unique triathlon training to South Tampa


    Over a decade ago, Robert Pennino traded late nights in the music studio for early mornings in the Terrier Tri cycle studio.

    Terrier Tri, a cycling studio in South Tampa celebrates a grand opening on June 27. Photo courtesy of Tess Hipp.
  4. New bistro hopes to serve as 'adult Chuck E. Cheese'


    YBOR CITY — Inside Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy, a new restaurant opening in Ybor City, customers will find a mix of family recipes, games and secrecy.

    Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy readies to open in Ybor City. Photo courtesy of Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy.
  5. Ramadan having an economic impact on local charities, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Dodging the rain, a few families and customers gathered inside Petra Restaurant on Busch Boulevard. Around 8:30 p.m., the adham (or call to prayer) music begins, signaling Iftar, the end of the daily fast. Customers grabbed a plate to dig into the feast.

    Baha Abdullah, 35, the owner of the Sultan Market makes kataif, a common dessert that is eaten during the month long celebration of Ramadan in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]