Many people wait until a serious cardiac event occurs before seeing a cardiologist. But the fact is, regular evaluation by a cardiac specialist is one of the most important, proactive steps you can take to protect your heart and keep it healthy.
While most patients rely on recommendations from their physician or even from family or friends, choosing a cardiologist for your needs is a critical part of making sure you get the care you need. Here are some tips to make sure you choose the cardiac specialist that’s right for you:
First, make sure the heart doctors you’re considering accept your insurance. It may seem obvious, but this is a step many people forget to ask about, so determine this when you call to make your appointment. Another way to make sure your new doctor will accept your insurance is to call your insurance company and ask them for a list of participating cardiologists in your area.
Getting regular checkups is important to ensuring your heart stays healthy. If getting to your cardiologist is inconvenient, you’re much less likely to visit regularly and you’re much more likely to ignore seemingly minor symptoms to avoid a trip to his or her office. Both of those options can result in significant health risks for you, so be sure your cardiologist is located in an area that’s easy for you to get to.
Credentials and experience
In addition to a medical degree, many cardiologists specialize in specific areas of cardiology, such as nuclear cardiology or interventional cardiology. If you’re a woman, you may want to consider working with a cardiologist with a doctor with experience treating female patients, who may have different symptoms than male patients. Some doctors have the initials after their names, such as FACC, FSCAI or FSVM. These initials indicate the doctor has undergone advanced training and has received recognition from top medical organizations as well as their peers.
Do you feel more comfortable speaking with a male or female doctor? That’s an important consideration. Many cardiology practices include both male and female doctors to accommodate patient preferences.
Having a cardiologist with whom you feel comfortable communicating about your condition and your concerns is vital to the success of your treatment. Likewise, having a doctor who takes the time to listen to you and answer your questions in a way you can understand is also important. During your initial exam, pay attention to the way you feel talking with your doctor and how much time and undivided attention he or she devotes to your needs and concerns.
Making sure your heart is healthy and sound is vital to your overall health. Call our offices today and schedule your consultation so you can learn how we can help you stay healthy.