Regardless of the type of medical care you require, you’re likely to have access to a large pool of doctors. While it’s nice to know that you have many choices, this can make it difficult to settle on the right doctor for your situation and condition.

Here are five steps you can take to choose a doctor whom you can trust:

  • Ask friends and family: The more people you ask for advice, the more you’ll learn about the many doctors in your local area.
  • Go online: You can find a lot of information online, such as reviews from other patients and news articles (both good and bad) associated with the doctor or medical practice.
  • Get on the phone: Call the office to see how you’re treated. Ask a few questions and double check the accuracy of the answers. If you don’t like the way you’re treated by office staff, it may be best to move on.
  • Ask about experience: Depending on your situation, experience may be the key to making a full recovery. For example, if you’re fighting cancer or another serious disease, you want a doctor who has a great deal of experience in that field.
  • Follow your gut: If after your first appointment your gut is telling you to find a new doctor, don’t hesitate to do so.

By taking these steps, you enhance your ability to choose a reputable doctor whom you can trust with your health.

If at any point a medical professional makes a mistake, e.g., a misdiagnosis or surgery error, you should find a new doctor to help you understand your condition and what to do next. This is also a good time to learn more about your legal rights, as you’ll want to hold the negligent party responsible.