Finding the right cardiologist may seem like a daunting task, but there are numerous tips and resources available to help with the search.
The American Heart Association suggests starting with recommendations.
While word of mouth from friends and family may help narrow your search, Everyday Health says your primary care doctor — someone who knows you and your health considerations well and has interacted with many cardiologists — is the best place to start.
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Checking the Healthgrades website will provide information such as board certification status, specialties and subspecialties, and hospital affiliations.
Be sure to review any potential doctor's credentials. Board certification can be checked on the American Board of Internal Medicine website. Also, check to see whether the doctor you are considering is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC).
Check for conflicts of interest and disciplinary action on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website and the .
Choosing someone whose subspecialty matches your condition is important. Also, researching hospital quality can direct you to a location with better outcomes and fewer complications.
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A hospital that specializes in cardiac care may offer a chance to meet several different specialists. This can be particularly helpful if you have a condition that has stumped doctors, U.S. News and World Report noted.
Look for a doctor who accepts your insurance, and consider the business structure — whether the doctor works on a salary or fee-for-service basis, U.S. News and World Report recommended.
"There are people who work in a fee-for-service environment, where the more they do, the more they get paid," said Dr. Steven Nissen, chair of cardiac medicine at Cleveland Clinic, according to U.S. News and World Report. "I personally think that taking financial incentive out of a care system is a better way. All other things being equal, having a physician who works as a salaried employee of a health care system rather than on a fee-for-service basis is something that helps a lot."
Don't overlook such considerations as convenience and accessibility. How close is the doctor's office, and how easy is it to schedule an appointment? Also pay attention to how comfortable you feel with the doctor's communication style.
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This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.