How to Choose a Dermatologist
In today’s society, everyone can benefit from seeing a dermatologist. From eczema to skin cancers to cosmetics, having a good dermatologist to call if “something pops up” is always a smart idea. However, choosing the best dermatologist for you may be difficult, so here are some useful tips to consider.
1. Type of Dermatologist. Dermatologists can specialize in many different areas of skin care so you want to find one that will best fit your needs. Seeing a general dermatologist is commonly the first place to start. General dermatologists are trained to treat countless skin disorders, including acne, skin cancers, rashes, and also provide some cosmetic services. If cosmetic procedures are primarily what you seek, a cosmetic dermatologist may be best. They receive extra training in performing cosmetic procedures such as Botox, fillers, and lasers. Another type of dermatologist is a Mohs surgeon who specializes in treating skin cancers, especially in difficult to treat areas such as those on the face. If your skin cancer requires the skills of a Mohs surgeon, your general dermatologist will refer you to one. At Goodman Dermatology we have general, cosmetic dermatologists and Mohs surgeons on staff for the convenience of our patients.
2. Experience and Training. Proper training and experience is key to successful outcomes. Dermatologists are required to undergo numerous years of training (undergraduate school, medical school, an internship, and three years of dermatology residency) and pass their board examination to become a general dermatologist. You want to ensure that your dermatologist received adequate training and is board certified. This can usually be found in a brief biography on the office’s website.
3. Gender. This is something that is often overlooked by patients when choosing a dermatologist. Make sure you are okay with their gender. During physical exams, dermatologists often have to get “up close and personal” so you want to be at ease during this process. In addition, you want to feel comfortable asking your doctor anything, including more intimate questions, and not be nervous or embarrassed.
4. Patient Reviews and Satisfaction Surveys. These days, people write reviews on almost everything. When searching for a new physician, reading patients’ reviews online is not an exception to the rule and can be a useful tool. Patients’ comments are easy to find and can be on the office’s website or on another review website such as Yelp. Patients’ previous experiences such as making an appointment, appearance of the office, their communication with the front desk staff, wait times, the doctor’s bedside manner, and if they were satisfied with their results will all be found here. These can be insightful clues to helping you find the best dermatologist.
5. Insurance Coverage. Before scheduling your first appointment, you want to make sure your dermatologist accepts your insurance. Receiving an unexpected bill is never a great way to start a relationship with your new dermatologist, for you and for them. Dermatologists often have to take biopsies and perform procedures to effectively treat your condition, and if you have to pay for it all out of pocket, it could become pricey. Knowing the cost of the appointment and any procedures performed prior can help to alleviate any anxiety.
6. Your First Appointment. After doing your research and scheduling an appointment, your first visit will allow you to see if you made a good decision. During your visit, do not be afraid to ask questions, including their background and experience with your condition. Let them know your concerns and see how they would best approach them. Make note of their communication skills and style of treating. Also, make sure that you are satisfied by the way they answer your questions. These are all ways to see if you and your dermatologist make a good “fit”.
In conclusion, choosing a dermatologist should not be a decision taken lightly. Receiving advice from your family and friends, talking with your primary care doctor, and referring to the tips mentioned above will assist you in finding the dermatologist you want and need. If you have any further questions, please give us a call at Goodman Dermatology at (770)754-0787. We have offices in Roswell, GA and Woodstock, GA for your convenience.