When you have an issue with your musculoskeletal system – your bones, muscles, joints, and related tissues – an orthopedic doctor is the type of physician you want to see for an evaluation and treatment. An orthopedist is a medical specialist who knows how to efficiently diagnose and treat injuries and chronic conditions that affect this system – everything from a sprained ankle to arthritis.
Although all orthopedic physicians must earn a medical degree and undergo additional specialized training in orthopedic medicine, not all orthopedists are the same. Let’s share some tips that can help you select the best orthopedic doctor for you:
Tip #1: Determine the Services You Need
Many orthopedists specialize in certain areas within the field of orthopedics, such as knee and hip replacements. Some orthopedists practice sports medicine, which addresses things like osteoarthritis and joint pain – but they generally don’t perform surgery. You can find all of this information on the practitioner’s website; if you’re curious about whether a doctor performs certain health services, feel free to call their office and ask the staff.
Tip #2: Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations
If you have a friend or a member of your family who sees an orthopedic doctor for treatment or health maintenance, ask whether they’d recommend their doctor. If so, ask whether the doctor specializes in a specific area or if they practice general orthopedics – if they happen to know. Ask about the orthopedist’s bedside manner and whether they have felt that all of their concerns were addressed properly.
Tip #3: Look for Experience
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possibilities to one or several potential orthopedic doctors, read their biographies on their websites. You can find out how long the physician has been practicing, what their specialties are, and possibly some personal information about them. Ultimately, you want to choose a doctor with experience, especially if you’re looking for an orthopedic surgeon.
Tip #4: Ensure Board Certification
A doctor must obtain a license to practice in each state where they want to practice. This usually means that the doctor has at least completed an internship (one year of post-medical-school medical training); some states require that the doctor complete a full residency, which lasts for at least three years after medical school.
Just because a physician is licensed to practice medicine doesn’t mean they’re board-certified. Board certification demonstrates that a physician has passed the test (or tests) given at the end of their residency training.
If the doctor is “board-eligible,” that means that they either have not yet taken the test(s) or did not pass the test. You can call the doctor’s office and ask why the doctor’s biography says “board-eligible.” Note that a non-answer is a red flag – keep looking!
Skilled Orthopedic Surgeon in Farmington Hills, MI
If you’re looking for an experienced, full-service, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, consider our orthopedic doctors here at Tri County Orthopedics. Our medical team covers everything from arthritis to sports injuries, and we can successfully address whatever musculoskeletal issue you’re dealing with.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding orthopedists, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (248) 474-5575 or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!