When you receive a diagnosis, ask the diagnosing physician who you should see and why. Ask for an explanation of the recommended specialty (or specialties) and what that specialty does. Check to see if there is a subspecialist who might be better for your condition.
Check to make sure the practicing physician you see has some involvement with his or her state specialty association because you’ll benefit from your doctor’s interaction with other experts in the community.
Most numerical physicians no longer see patients and instead crunch numbers for a living. A pure regulatory physician is another physician you’re not likely to see. Generally, regulatory physicians work with medical societies, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies, for example, to ascertain the current thinking in the area of his or her expertise.
This is the type of physician you’re most likely to see. Generally, it’s uncommon to meet an experimental physician in the course of any disease management program. If the disease is rare enough, however, or if the research center is large enough, there’s a chance you could interact with such a doctor.
Your physicians’ special abilities and particular interests, therefore, may be more pertinent than affability when choosing the “best” physician for you. Physician “Hats” Physicians can take on many roles throughout their careers.