Ways to Choose Your Next Medical Professional
Anyone who has ever tried to find a "good doctor" or a therapist that has the right credentials understands how challenging it can be to find health care professionals. There is a lot more to the process than doing a quick online check based on your zip code and choosing the first name that comes up. Whether you are seeking orthodontic care in Miami FL, skin cancer treatment in Dallas TX or psychological therapy in San Jose CA, it's important to follow a few specific steps for locating a health care professional.
The old advice about "asking friends" only works if your personal network is large enough to include people who suffer from the exact same malady as you suffer from. That is usually not the case. Experts say the best way to hone in on the right doctor, therapist or dentist is to do research and be willing to spend time finding the right provider. Remember, your health is at stake. There is no reason to cut corners. When you want to find a competent medical professional, do the following:
Start with HealthFinder.gov
HealthFinder.gov is a U.S. government database that includes millions of health care professionals' names, hours, specialties, and fees. Even if you end up using other resources to find a therapist (and you should), HealthFinder is a good place to begin. The site updates its listing several times per year and features helpful articles about therapy, how to find competent professionals, how to manage costs, and other solid advice.
Use Psychology Today
Psychology Today is one of the oldest and largest listings of therapists in the United States. Their database contains nearly 100,000 names of licensed health care professionals who work in every field of behavioral science. You can look up a therapist you already have the name of and find out the person's credentials. Or simply enter location data like zip codes or city names and you'll see a listing of psychologists, psychiatrists, family counselors, additional therapists and more, all based on the data you enter. The beauty of the Psychology Today listing, is that each therapist is allowed to include a statement about their treatment philosophy, background and other pertinent information about themselves. There is also data about office hours, insurance coverage, cash-pay fees, and more.
Use the GoodTherapy Database
At GoodTherapy.org, there is a national listing of more than 70,000 mental health professionals. Whether you need a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed social worker, or someone else in the field, the GoodTherapy database was created for one reason: to help prospective patients find the health care professional that can treat their specific conditions. In many ways, the GoodTherapy database is similar to the one at Psychology Today. While there is quite a bit of overlap, each of the two lists contain thousands of names that are exclusive to them. That's because some therapists prefer to be listed on just one of the databases. So be sure to check both when you are searching for a therapist.