Published on: December 15, 2020
It can happen in many different ways. You may have received a diagnosis from your primary care physician. Alternatively, you may have received a preliminary diagnosis and referral from an emergency room doctor. You may have had your condition for some time, and perhaps have moved to a new area. Whatever the case may be, it is imperative to choose the right infectious disease doctor for your condition. Your condition may be something brand new to you – your new reality, or it may be something you are very used to and have managed it for years. Either way, having the best care for yourself is of utmost importance.
With your health and peace of mind as our ‘true north,’ we wanted to lay out a few best practices for finding the best infectious disease doctor for your condition. Some of what we can recommend to you will require your diligence upfront – a way for you to prepare in your search. Some other tips we have for you revolve around your initial conversations with the doctor or practice to ensure that it’s where you need to be.
Factors to Consider
Many factors play into this decision. A few apparent factors might be:
- Location: Distance to and from the doctor’s office. Is it a feasible commute for you?
- Service Specialty: Specific areas of service and whether or not the doctor has experience with that disease.
- Onboarding Process: You need to decide whether it will be a smooth process to become a new patient and enter that practice’s patient ecosystem.
- Track Record: The doctor’s track record of success and proven ability to treat your condition with care.
Whether you have moved to a new town and are looking for a new doctor for a condition you’ve had for some time, or you are looking for care for the very first time, here are a few steps to consider when choosing the best infectious disease doctor for your condition.
Step 1: Review the Infectious Disease Practice Service Areas
It may seem obvious, but it’s essential to review the areas where doctors and practices focus the most. When checking the list, you may see your condition. If you do, be sure to review the others as well. Is this practice/doctor well-versed in treating many conditions or just a few? This simple practice will allow you to get to know the doctor a bit before even picking up the phone to inquire. It’s a crucial first step to being informed.
Step 2: Ask for Recommendations from Friends and Family
This step may apply to you, and it may not but having a friend or family member who has a similar experience as you can play a huge role in finding great care. Perhaps they can make a referral or recommendation for your consideration. For the retail industry, consumers are 92% more likely to trust their peers over advertising when making purchasing decisions. Could the same be said about you? Please don’t always just put blind trust into the most recent Facebook ad that pops up in your feed. Dig around a bit, have some pointed conversations with friends. It may take some hard work initially, but it will pay off in the long run.
Step 3: Read Your Doctor’s Reviews Online
In the same spirit of talking to your friends and family about your decision and asking for recommendations, you should also take a close look at the online reviews for prospective doctors and doctors’ offices. Don’t just focus on the 5-star reviews. Dig down into the lower reviews as well. It might not sway your decisions, but it could be useful information to have when you visit for the first time. A recent survey showed that 90% of consumers used the Internet to find a local business in the last year, and 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
This data may or may not describe you, but please know that this is important to your doctor, and if they are savvy, they will operate in such a way to gain the most positive reviews possible. It’s just up to you to find them and make the best decision for yourself.
Step 4: Review the Practice’s Track Record of Success
An infectious disease doctor or group, who is worthy of your time and trust, will indeed list out, in detail, their areas of expertise and any notable success, awards, or accolades they have received while practicing medicine. These things are important because it shows a real track record. It gives you some background before having a conversation. There could have been a medical breakthrough this doctor was a part of or led. There could be papers or studies on your condition that have been published by the doctor. The doctor could have received an award from an Infectious Disease awareness group or something similar.
If possible, from their website and social media, can you tell if the doctor has a good reputation in the community? Do they sit on company or nonprofit organization boards or committees? All of this research matters and is vital in your search for your next infectious disease doctor. On the flip side, if this type of information is hard to find or not listed at all, it may be a good idea to keep looking.
Step 5: Have a Preliminary Phone Call or Visit with the Doctor
Depending on the practice, this step may not be possible. You may have to book an actual appointment to meet your doctor. However, it would be very beneficial to have a preliminary conversation with the doctor in person or by phone whenever and wherever possible. An introductory discussion can be helpful for several reasons. Namely, you can get to know them a bit better and get a feel for their bedside manner. You can also take advantage of asking crucial questions related to your condition and becoming a new patient.
Some questions to consider asking your doctor on your first visit:
- Have you handled a condition like mine before? If so, were you successful?
- Do you have a specialty in infectious disease, or do you specialize in treating many types?
- How long does a condition like mine usually take to treat or even heal?
- Is my condition likely temporary or long-lasting?
- I have other health conditions. How would you suggest that I manage these conditions together?
- Are there any brochures or printed material I can take home with me today?
- How will my condition be handled in and around the office, and who will I see most often if not you?
- Will I receive an action plan to adhere to?
- How quickly does your office return phone calls or emails to keep me updated on my plan and condition status?
- Do you think there is a good chance that I have a positive outcome?
Be assertive. Find the best care. Go the extra mile.
We realize this list is not an exhaustive list of how to find the best infectious disease doctor for your condition. But we do think that it is a good start. When it comes to your health and the health of your loved ones, you should never take it lightly. Be assertive. Find the best care. Go the extra mile. Here at Infectious Disease Associates of Tampa Bay, our aim, every single day, is to provide our patients with best-in-class care and empathy. We are honored that our patients have put their trust in our doctors and staff, and we do not take it for granted. Whether they are a brand-new patient or a patient we have seen for years, they are a part of the IDATB family, and they are treated as such – with dignity and respect.
We also know you may find yourself in a difficult situation, perhaps with a new diagnosis or confusing symptoms. We want you to know that you are always welcome at Infectious Disease Associates of Tampa Bay.
IDATB Patient Reviews
And since we’ve already talked about online reviews, take a look at a few recent reviews left by our wonderful patients:
“My experience with Dr. Khan, from my time in the hospital, through my follow up care at his office was excellent. Dr. Kahn was on top of my medical situation at all times and was always cheerful and ready to answer any questions. I highly recommend!”
– Natalie B.
“As a Registered Nurse, former Chief Nursing Officer, and patient of many years, this practice is the best in the Tampa Bay area. They excel in their diagnostic abilities and treatment of patients. Although my primary physician is Dr. Margarita Cancio, I have been seen by several members of the group, and all are excellent. I have to correct some of the comments I have read regarding wait times. Your waiting time may be longer, but what you receive in return is a thorough exam and physicians who take the time to listen to you, I have very high standards when it comes to my and especially my family’s health care, so when they have an issue this is the team of doctors I recommend. Thanks to all the doctors and the staff.”
– Jane F.
“We met Dr. Torres at Tampa General Hospital back in Nov 2019 during my wife’s hip surgery. We knew she was determined to find what the infection was and to find the right medication for fighting it. Unlike another Infectious Disease Clinic in Florida, we are convinced that Dr. Torres will always be testing Linda for any return of the infection. Dr. Torres has a fantastic personality, and we have complete confidence in her.”
– Bill C.
“Very friendly, very professional, the office is very nice and clean. Everything was done in a very timely manner. From the time we walked in the door, the receptionist, the nurse & Dr. Harris all very nice & treated me as if they were really there to help, not just get a paycheck. I would highly recommend.”
– Catherine G.
Best Infectious Disease Doctors in Tampa, Florida | IDATB
We hope to get the pleasure of meeting you soon. If you need to speak with an infectious disease doctor, do not hesitate to call (813) 251-8444. We also encourage our prospective patients to review our services at https://idatb.com/services/. With multiple clinics in the Tampa metro area, we are certain that we have a clinic near you. It is our privilege to care for you!
* Survey Data Results for Online Reviews Source: