Choosing a Doctor

What You Should Know About Choosing a Doctor

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) suggests you determine the following when selecting a physician:
  • Make a list of what you're looking for in a doctor (location, male/female, specialty, language spoken, health plan and hospital affiliations, etc.)
  • Ask for referrals from family, friends, health practitioners, and hospitals and determine which doctors you'd like to learn more about
  • Research the doctor's qualifications, training, background, and quality of care through trusted sources such as those below
  • Call the doctor's office and inquire about office hours (do they have evening and weekend appointments, is the doctor accepting new patients, who are the other practitioners in the practice, how long does it take to schedule a routine appointment)
  • Once you've narrowed down your choice, make an appointment with your prospective doctor to discuss your needs and determine if you'll be comfortable with he or she as your personal doctor.

Researching Your Doctor

To help get you started, use the tools below to explore and comparison shop.
  • Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine: Provides profiles on every licensed physician in the Commonwealth about his or her education, training, specialties, insurance and hospital affiliations, translation services, malpractice claims, disciplinary actions and more!
  • Clinical Quality Report (Quality Insights): Compare how well Massachusetts medical groups provide preventive services and take care of patients with chronic diseases (by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP)
  • Patient Experience Survey: Statewide survey results of patients experiences with their Primary Care Providers for over 400 Massachusetts doctors offices (by MHQP)
  • NCQA's Physician Recognition Directory: Search for NCQA-Recognized physicians that have met the highest standards of quality care in the areas of heart/stroke care, diabetes care and systematic processes
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