Your gynecologist will guide you through some of the most important and intimate health issues in your life, which is why taking the time to explore your options is a vital step in your women’s health journey. Finding the right gynecologist who fits your preferences and personality can help you overcome any fears you have of going to the doctor, and even lead to a rewarding relationship. Here are five tips on how to find a gynecologist you’ll stay with for life.

1. Start by looking for a Gynecologist who is highly recommended.

It’s always best to check the reputation of a medical provider before deciding to book an appointment. In fact, 72 percent of patients will use online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor. Whether you look for patient reviews on review sites such as Zocdoc and Healthgrades, or ask your primary care doctor, friends, or family for a recommendation, looking for a reputable doctor is a great way to start your search.

2. Consider your gender preferences.

Having your gynecologist see the most intimate parts of your body is never an easy task, but if the prospect of being examined by a male gynecologist makes you deeply uncomfortable, you may want to screen your options by gender. Your ObGyn will deal with personal and sensitive health issues of yours, so trusting your gut and preferences on your path to finding a gynecologist is key. However, it may surprise you to learn that the majority of women (66.6%) have no gender bias when selecting an ObGyn, and an even larger majority (198, 80.8%) feel that physician gender does not influence quality of care.

3. Identify his or her credentials and field(s) of expertise.

While all gynecologists are fully qualified doctors and specialists, you may be interested in learning the skills and expertise that set one doctor apart from another. For instance, board certification indicates that an ObGyn has completed extra training and exams beyond their licensure to be recognized as an expert. Board-certified ObGyns are required to continue their education to maintain their certification, and may additionally train in subspecialties such as minimally invasive gynecologic surgery or high-risk pregnancies. 

In addition to checking whether an ObGyn is board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), be sure to also check out key background information such as:

  • Where the doctor attended medical school and completed their residency
  • How many years they’ve practiced (exact copy) 
  • Which hospitals they’re affiliated with (exact copy) 
  • What their specialties are (exact copy) 
  • What certifications they hold
  • Their malpractice and disciplinary history

4. Get candid about the qualities you’re looking for.

There are other vital skills you may be looking for in a gynecologist, such as sensitivity and listening skills. It can feel awkward and uncomfortable to show a stranger what’s going on down there, but confiding in your gynecologist about your physical and emotional well-being is key to having a beneficial doctor-patient relationship. Although your feelings of discomfort may never completely dissipate, finding the right gynecologist you can communicate your feelings and anxieties to can help assuage your nerves over time.

5. Think about convenience and availability.

In the event that you have worrying or concerning symptoms, you’ll want to choose a gynecologist with same-day scheduling. Small one-provider practices may lack the resources and availability that larger practices offer, where there are usually multiple physicians. Additionally, larger practices may have diagnostic testing and sonography services available on-site, such as Viva Eve.

There are few doctors who will ever know you as intimately as your gynecologist. Finding a gynecologist you can trust in is an investment towards your health, and can help you demystify your body and set the record straight on all of your health concerns.

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