5 Tips to using the Internet to pick your next eye doctor

You’re new in town. Or for one reason or another, you want to choose another eye doctor in your area. You’re so new, that you don’t know many people or you feel funny about asking relative strangers about recommendations for an eye doctor.

There is hope now. Today’s patient can go to their computer and type in their address or city and see geographically which doctors are nearby via Google Maps/Locations, Yahoo and even some specialized smart phones.  But do these sites give enough information for you to decide on an eye doctor?

Here are five (5) tips that may help you choose your next eye doctor

  1. Are they convenient? – Your next eye doctor has to be convenient in location, hours of operation, parking and often public transportation. Does the eye doctor list these in their web site or Facebook page?
  2. Do they offer the services you want? – You know whether you need a general eye doctor or a specialist either because of your past history or whether you have an active or urgent problem. Can the doctor offer that service? Nowadays, both optometrists and ophthalmologists can solve optical and mild-to-moderate medical eye needs.
  3. Online reviews are helpful but like anything on the Internet, their usefulness has limits. Because reviews can be manipulated,  too many positive or negative reviews or too positive or too negative a review may not be helpful.
  4. A doctor’s educational background and experience may only reveal your own biases and not necessarily the skill and friendliness of the doctor. Instead, look for doctors who actually write their own material. This often reflects their communication skills, a factor that may put you more at ease than a dozen plaques on a wall. Of course, skill counts, but for most common eye problems, your comfort with the doctor is just as important.
  5. Lastly, my own bias are toward doctors who give back to their communities. These are doctors who are self assured about themselves and don’t mind helping people out. It also shows their humanity and compassion, things I treasure in an eye doctor.

These five tips are easy because I avoid the complex details of a doctor that most patients and even many doctors cannot evaluate.  The next time you’re faced with choosing an eye doctor, have them follow these tips to a better eye appointment.

To reference this post later, use this URL http://wp.me/p18zjA-3Q

About Richard Hom OD, MPA

Dr. Hom holds Doctor of Optometry and Masters in Public Administration degrees and practices family eye care and consults on public policy, health information technology and program evaluation.
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