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The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Doctor Hunting Online

Regardless of the health diagnosis you receive, you want to make sure that the doctor who is treating you is the best for your condition. But how can you find the best medical professional in your area?

Enter the internet—a lot more sites, like Zagat.com and Angieslist.com along with RateMDs.com and Healthgrades.com, are offering doctor ratings and information far beyond the word of mouth that people have relied on for decades. To find the right doctor for you, keep these points in mind:

* Define what is important to you in a doctor. Is bedside manner more important than 24/7 availability? Is the office location key or hospital affiliation? Your answers will help you narrow down your choices.

* Don’t rely on one site for information. Check multiple sites and read multiple comments about a doctor you’re interested in before making a final decision. Also, look for reviews that reveal details about a doctor’s care, instead of  

* Look for themes. If there are multiple stories about how a doctor failed to respond to an urgent call or was involved in multiple similar malpractice cases, then there may be a serious problem in that practice and you should look elsewhere.

* Check for certification. Make sure your doctor is affiliated with the major medical associations for that field, and also check in with your insurance company for a doctor’s trustworthiness. [CNN.com]

Posted: 4/17/08