Over 121 million Americans live with some form of cardiovascular disease today. Knowing this fact might make it easier to figure out why finding the right cardiologist is so important. A cardiologist chosen by you will help you to determine some critical things regarding your health. They will likely guide you towards some major lifestyle changes and could be the one taking charge of your surgical needs. Here are some items you need to consider when finding the right cardiologist.
How Do I Choose The Right Doctor?
It’s important to know where to start when choosing a doctor. A good place to start is by asking your primary care physician who they recommend when finding the right cardiologist. They will likely have a few people in mind and offer you contact information for each one. You can then continue your search via word of mouth and ask friends, family, and even co-workers who they would recommend. It’s best that you start with a fairly lengthy list of physicians before you begin your deep dive into research on each one. Make sure you have all your items checked when deciding the right cardiologist.
When Should One See A Cardiologist?
It might be time to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist if you have chest pains, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, or peripheral arterial disease. It may also be time to visit a cardiologist if you feel as though your lifestyle choices might compromise your health further. For example, if you smoke or are getting prepared to start an exercise program after many years of inactivity. Finally, it is best you take precautionary measures and schedule a visit if you are middle-aged and or have a family history of heart disease.
What Should I Look For When Choosing A Medical Specialist?
Refer back to your list of doctors and do a quick search on the internet to find a good doctor that best suits your medical needs. Here are a few main things you can search for right away:
- Location – You will know immediately whether you can or are willing to make the drive to see them
- Credentials – Take a look at the medical school they attended and make sure they are board-certified and trained in the specialty you require whether it be cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, internal medicine, or a mixture of specialties
- Reviews – Check for any reviews (preferably recent ones) and see what other people have to say about their visit with them
- Payment/ Health Insurance – Check to see if your doctor is in-network or if they offer any information on payment options or insurance plans online
- Organizations Involved In – Take a look at your physician’s involvement in the community and medical field outside of the clinic to get a good look at what they have a passion for
All of these things will help you make a more educated decision when scheduling your first appointment. Keep in mind that you should still gauge how you feel meeting with them one on one. Bedside manner is critical to your experience with your physician. Your doctor should be responsive to your questions and concerns in as much detail as possible and they should be able to make enough time in their day to focus on you during the visit. Most importantly, you should feel a sense of trustworthiness when discussing your health with them.
Cardiovascular Disease at a Glance
Nearly one in every three deaths in the US—17.6 million people in 2016—is caused by cardiovascular disease, and the number keeps rising. In fact, according to a study by the American Heart Association, more than 23 million people will die because of cardiovascular disease by 2030.
Cardiovascular disease is seen in many people nationwide but is more prevalent in non-Hispanic black females and non-Hispanic black males. The average age for men to experience their first heart attack is about 64 years old, while women experience their first heart attack around 72 years old.
If you are stuck on how to choose a cardiologist to best suit your needs, keep in mind that many doctors and their office staff work hard each and every day to ensure a better quality of life, improving the health of Americans who are susceptible to or who currently have cardiovascular disease. So the physician you select should value your voice and make an effort to build a relationship with you based on trust.
At Vital Heart & Vein, we are especially proud to have doctors with specialized experience in Cardiovascular Disease, Interventional Cardiology, and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. We care for our patients and we value the ability to be able to help people live healthier lives through our many services.