‘Tis the season for the common cold! If you don’t already have a physician or need to change your current one, your BBB® has the following tips to finding a good doctor.

I am sure most of you just do your research online, looking up reviews on Yelp or Angie’s list, but do you really want to find your doctor the same way you find your restaurant? Here are a few foolproof ways to find a good doctor:

1. Start with your insurance

If you have insurance, start from there. Search your insurance’s directory for doctors, but make sure to call their offices, since doctors add and drop insurance plans very often.

2. Research hospital affiliation

Your choice of doctor can determine which hospital you go to, in case of an emergency, so try to find out if and where your doctor has admitting privileges.

3. Board certification

Being certified by the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) means your doctor earned a degree from a certified and verified medical school, that he or she completed a three to seven years training program and that they passed several exams before being certified by the ABMS. To check if your doctor is certified or not, go to certificationmatters.org.

4. Are there any red flags?

Red flags like malpractice claims and disciplinary actions are very important in finding a good doctor. Doctors get sued every now and then, but if there are many malpractice claims, you may want to find someone else. Here’s a list to help you do a background check on your doctor!

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