No matter the cause of the symptoms that send you in search of a spine surgeon, it is important for you to find the perfect specialist to meet your needs. You deserve to be treated by someone with the best training and skills who is also efficient and caring. How do you know who to trust with your spine?
The initial step in selecting the right spine surgeon is to do your research. Create a list of potential candidates from online resources, family, friends, neighbors, or other resources. Your primary care physician may also have suggestions for trusted specialists. In researching candidates online, read about the surgeon, the practice, and patient reviews. Remember not to be overly swayed by fancy websites or marketing, as some very capable physicians do not focus their talents on that aspect of their business. Online research is only one element of your search for the right spine surgeon.
There is a list of questions you should ask any surgeon that you are considering for your treatment. Dr. Charla Fischer in New York City welcomes prospective patients who come to their initial appointment with a list of questions in hand so that they can feel comfortable and confident in their choice of provider. Always schedule a consultation with spine surgeons you are considering so that you can get the answers you need to help you make the right choice. If any doctor does not want to have that initial meeting, it’s a good idea to cross that name off your list and move on.
Some key questions that are important to ask a spine surgeon during your consultation include:
- Are you board-certified? This means the physician has undergone rigorous testing and peer evaluation by a specialized medical board. Also required residency training in a specialty must be completed.
- Are you fellowship-trained? Internship, residency, and fellowship after completing medical school are requirements to achieve this qualification.
- What procedures are you experienced in? Make sure the surgeon performs the procedure you are interested in and frequently enough to be confident in it.
- What are the practices in place for recovery and contacting staff when I need to? The physician and staff should be accessible and willing to communicate.
- How do I know surgery is necessary? The surgeon should be eager to ensure you have the best treatment plan for your condition and that all alternatives have been considered before proceeding with surgery.
You need to feel secure that the doctor answered your questions and made you comfortable in asking them. This is the first of many interactions you’ll have with the spine surgeon, so be sure you like the doctor and his bedside manner. Your health is of utmost importance and your choice in caregivers plays a key role.