Believe it or not, more people die of heart disease than of AIDS and all cancers combined. In fact, there are about 800 million Americans who have one or more types of heart disease. It’s so big a problem in the U.S. that it causes about 600,000 deaths every year.
If you want to lower your risk of heart disease, you need to find a doctor. Here are a few tips to help.
One of the most important things you need to do when finding a doctor is to look in-network — you need to find a doctor who accepts your insurance. That way, you won’t have to pay in full, nor will you be surprised by any “out-of-network” fees. Head to your health insurance company’s website, which should have a directory meant to help with finding a doctor, and look for a primary care physician in your area that accepts your insurance.
Look Up Their Credentials.
Once you’ve found a few doctors in-network, you need to see if they have their licenses and other medical credentials. The Federation of State Medical Boards maintains a state-by-state listing of medical boards specifically for the purpose of finding a doctor. Head to abms.org and click “Is Your Doctor Certified?” to check.
Look at Their Offices.
The only way to tell if you’re really done finding a doctor is to visit them and check out their office. After all, your primary care physician should be someone whom you can trust and rely on — someone you should feel 100% comfortable with. Talk to them about your current health status, your medications, and medical history, and make sure the two of you are on the same page when it comes to managing chronic conditions.
Heart disease is a killer, and by finding a doctor, you can make sure it doesn’t affect you. However, finding a physician who offers what you want — be it flexible hours or outpatient services like outpatient surgery — can be tricky. Luckily, it’s not impossible. If you’re having trouble finding a doctor and have questions, ask in the comments.