Choosing a Doctor

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: October 23, 2014

Doctor …Your Patient Will See You Now..

Questions you should ponder in your quest for “Doctor Wonderful”:

Do you prefer a woman or a man?  Are you going to be able to talk freely with sensitive issues like your sex life? Decide beforehand if gender will make a difference or not.

Do you want a doctor who specializes only on menopause?   What are your preferences, a regular gynecologist, primary care doctor, endocrinologist, nurse practitioner or other?  A clinician, who is a menopause specialist, has more knowledge about menopause and ways to treat its symptoms.

After you decide as to the type of doctor you want, it’s time to set out to find that doctor/clinician.

Choosing a Doctor: Quick tips:

It’s important that you find a doctor whose expertise you can trust.  Look for one whom:

  • Treats you with respect
  • Listens to your opinions and concerns
  • Encourages you to ask questions
  • Explains things in ways you can understand

Ask Recommendations from people you know and trust

Your friends, family members, coworkers may make suggestions to you of doctors they particularly like.  Their feedback might explain whether the doctor was able to establish a rapport with them; paid attention to them; didn’t interrupt them; or had spent enough time with them.

Call the Doctors Office Beforehand and Ask:

  • Is the doctor taking new patients?
  • How long will it take to get an appointment?
  • How long do appointments typically last?
  • Who will see you if the doctor is unavailable?
  • Do they accept your insurance?
  • What are the office hours?
  • What hospital does the doctor use?
  • How many doctors are in the practice?

If you are satisfied with the responses to your questions, schedule an appointment to speak to the doctor.

At The Appointment with the Doctor:

When talking to the doctor make sure:

  • You feel comfortable talking to the doctor
  • The doctor is willing to answer all your questions and explains things so you can understand
  • You had enough time to ask all your questions
  • You might also ask if the doctor takes questions by e mail

Just remember, building a relationship with your new doctor may take time.  And, when you work collaboratively with your doctor like a team, you’ll get better healthcare.

After The First Appointment

You should assess your satisfaction level.  Did the doctor:

  • Spend enough time with you?
  • Were you comfortable discussing all your concerns?
  • Answer your questions?
  • If the doctor has prescribed a treatment, are you convinced that this is necessary and do you understand how to take the treatment?

If no, you should continue your search in finding another doctor.

Red Hot Mamas® Recommends:

The North American Menopause Society  (NAMS) has developed a competency examination for all licensed healthcare providers.  Those who pass this exam demonstrate an expertise in the field of menopause and are awarded the credential of NCMP or NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner.  This credential is valid for 3 years but it can be maintained by passing a new examination or submitting appropriate continuing medical education credits that demonstrate ongoing education in the field of menopause.

To find a certified NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner, log onto

The clinicians in the NAMS Find a Menopause Clinician searchable database include several types of healthcare professionals. For example:

  • MD signifies physician
  • DO means osteopathic physician
  • ND and NMD mean naturopathic physician
  • PA means physician assistant
  • DNP, NP, ANP, ARNP, CRNP, and FNP are nurse practitioners; DNPs are Doctors of Nursing Practice;
    nurse midwives are CNM
  • RPh and PharmD are pharmacists
  • APRN, RN, RNC, BSN, and MSN are nurses
  • LCSW and MSW are social workers
  • PhD means a doctorate degree, such as in psychology, among others
  • NCMP means special competency demonstrated in the field of menopause