If you don’t live near an excellent practice with great patient reviews, you might want to travel a little farther.

When you want to find a restaurant near you, Google can deliver a huge trove of eating options in a split second. When you need a new hair salon, Google can supply a long list of choices within a few blocks to a few miles of your house.

The same is true for finding a new doctor. A simple Google search for “doctors near me,” “gynecologist near me”, or “Ob/Gyn near me” will bring up a long list of providers in your community.

Convenience is, of course, important. Who wants to waste time behind the wheel or on public transportation if you visit your Ob/Gyn’s office regularly because of a chronic condition or pregnancy? All things being equal, why not see the physician who is closer to your home? The reason for that is: all things are not always equal. When it comes to quality healthcare, especially if you are experiencing gynecologic problems or a difficult pregnancy, a longer commute may be worth it. 

Are you looking for an expert Ob/Gyn to treat your complex condition? Were you unhappy with the course of treatment suggested by the doctor you visited?

Here are some things to consider when evaluating your options after Googling “Ob/Gyn” near me:

Does Your Ob/Gyn have excellent online reviews?

We all know that you can’t always trust the reviews posted online. But a lot of the time they do give you a very good idea on what to expect. Patient reviews will tell you if the doctors at the practice have a good bedside manner, if the front desk and office staff is friendly, if the wait is long, if the office is clean and modern and has the latest diagnostic equipment. Patients seek out physicians who are empathetic, who are respectful and who listen to their concerns. It makes sense to ensure that your Ob/Gyn office has a high rating. The latest research shows that in this day and age patients trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. 

Can the Ob/Gyn near me handle complex cases?

If you have a condition that’s out of the ordinary or complicated, it’s best to find an Ob/Gyn who has experience with it. That often means visiting a practice that has better resources, as well as physicians with special interest and expertise in your particular condition. For example: an office that specializes in the treatment of uterine fibroids will definitely have better diagnostic equipment and will offer the best variety of non surgical and minimally invasive treatment options than a regular Ob/Gyn office.

You don’t need to conduct a research to know that a more specialized experience in minimally invasive surgeries and procedures means better outcomes for the patients.

Will you have easy access to other specialists?

This may not be important to you now, but it will be when you need another specialist.

After Googling “Ob/Gyn near me”, look for one who has relationships with other specialists. This approach helps provide a continuous line of care where the patients directly benefit from collaborative relationships. That’s where hospital affiliations can matter a great deal. 

Is the Ob/Gyn near me aware of the latest practices and technologies?

Small one-provider practices may offer wonderful care, but there’s no denying that bigger and more advanced practices often have more resources. They usually have multiple physicians, each with his or her own specialties or areas of interest.

You should always ask what kind of services are available onsite and whether you have to go somewhere else (and book more appointments) for scans or blood tests. The importance of choosing an Ob/Gyn that offers onsite blood draw service for fast, convenient lab results and has the latest ultrasound equipment cannot be overstated.

Certain practices are better equipped for certain life stages. If you are looking to get pregnant soon, you should look for a practice that focuses more on obstetrics than on general gynecological care. This type of practice should offer complete services, from prenatal care to unique labor and delivery options, to postpartum care and counseling. 

If you’ve had a C-section in the past and are interested in vaginal delivery, you should find out if the practice specializes in VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean). You can’t predict what pregnancy, labor, and delivery will bring. But, you can get an idea of your doctor’s approach to care and how they and the delivery team may respond in certain situations.

If your reproductive years are behind you, you might want to look for a practice that specializes in general gynecological care, urogynecology, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, etc. 

Can you trust your Ob/Gyn?

Many patients travel pretty far to see an Ob/Gyn they trust. When asked about the traits of a good doctor, almost 60 percent of Americans said that personality and relationship were most important. Another 29 percent focused on delivery of care or the patient’s health outcome. Overall, most patients believe that how they are treated by their healthcare provider is just as important as the medical care they receive.

Fortunately, there are many practices that combine both quality care and compassionate care.

You discuss the most intimate, personal issues about your health with your Ob/Gyn. These conversations can start with pediatric and adolescent gynecology, continue through the reproductive years, and beyond menopause. Your Ob/Gyn needs to be someone with whom you feel comfortable.

You should also have confidence in his or her medical skills. You would want to look for an Ob/Gyn practice that is staffed by board-certified physicians that keep up with the latest developments in medical science and technology.

Things to consider.

Peace of mind is worth a lot, whether you’re dealing with a high-risk pregnancy or a complicated gynecologic issue. You may be dealing with your first abnormal pap smear or maybe you just want to talk to an expert prior to getting pregnant. It may well be worth it for you to drive a bit farther to find the highest quality care you can get. Everyone wants to know that their Ob/Gyn has the resources and the know-how to handle everything from simple, straightforward cases to the tough ones.

You don’t need to conduct a research to know that patients who have a good relationship with their Ob/Gyn physician and are confident that they are receiving the best care possible live happier and healthier lives. 

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