Selecting Your OB/GYN

Story by Ann E.Butenas

Navigate the choice with confidence, ensuring personalized, quality healthcare

A woman’s obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) is a vital part of her healthcare team. And choosing an OB/GYN is an important decision. This choice involves not only professional expertise but also personal compatibility, as an OB/GYN addresses health matters that are both intimate and critical. At University Health, we recognize the abundance of choices you face and are dedicated to guiding you towards an OB/GYN who aligns with your unique health needs. Our team of medical professionals is devoted to supporting you in this significant endeavor. To aid you in making an informed decision, we have put together a comprehensive guide. This guide is crafted to steer you through the key considerations and steps necessary to find an OB/GYN who will be an ideal partner in your individual health journey.

1. Understand Your Needs:

Your OB/GYN can help you plan a pregnancy and deliver your baby. They can help with routine screenings to keep you healthy and help you navigate life changes like menopause. And they can provide expert treatment for any reproductive health concerns that you experience.

2. Know What Your Insurance Covers:

Once you know your need, your insurance coverage is a practical matter. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your care, you may need to choose an OB/GYN who participates in your health insurance plan.

3. Seek Referrals:

Personal recommendations from friends, family and your primary care physician can provide insight into a doctor’s bedside manner and practice style.

4. Research Credentials:

While board certification is a critical indicator of a doctor’s proficiency and expertise in obstetrics and gynecology, it’s also important to understand the role of board-eligible doctors. Board eligibility means that a doctor has completed the required training and is in the process of obtaining full board certification. This status still signifies a high level of education and skill, and these professionals are often actively working towards meeting the rigorous standards for board certification. When researching your OB/GYN’s credentials, consider both board-certified and board-eligible doctors to ensure a wide range of qualified options.

5. Consider the OB/GYN’s Experience and Transition to MFM:

The expertise and track record of your OB/GYN are crucial, especially when dealing with complex or high-risk pregnancies. It’s important to inquire about the number of similar cases they have handled successfully. Furthermore, in certain situations, your care might need to be escalated to a Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist. MFMs have specialized training in high-risk pregnancies and can provide advanced care for both mother and baby. Understanding when and why your OB/GYN would recommend transitioning to MFM care can provide peace of mind and ensure you’re getting the best possible treatment for your specific condition.

6. Trusting Your Comfort and Instincts in Choosing an OB/GYN

When selecting an OB/GYN, the most crucial aspect is your personal comfort and trust in them. It’s essential to feel relaxed and at ease during consultations, as you will be discussing sensitive and personal health issues. Pay attention to how the OB/GYN communicates during your initial meeting. Do they explain complex matters in an understandable manner? Do they engage with you directly and maintain eye contact? Trusting your gut is important in this choice. If you feel comfortable and reassured in their presence, it’s a strong indicator that you’ve found the right OB/GYN for your needs. Remember, the sense of comfort and trust you feel with your OB/GYN is as important as their professional credentials.

7. Read Patient Reviews:

Patient reviews can provide a lot of insight related to personal experiences and how the physician practices and interacts with patients.

8. Consider Gender:

For some, the gender of the OB/GYN is an important consideration. Think about whether you prefer a male or female doctor and why, and whether this preference will affect your comfort level during appointments.

9. Assess the Office Staff and Environment:

The attitude and behavior of the office staff are important. A friendly, responsive, and competent staff can improve your overall experience.

10. Office Policies and Logistics:

Check the office policies and see if they align with your expectations. Consider the location of the office, the ease of getting an appointment, the waiting time, and the process for urgent after-hours care.

11. Continuous Care:

Consider whether the OB/GYN will see you through various stages of life, or if you would need to switch doctors at a certain point. Some practices have different specialists for obstetrics and gynecology.

Remember, your health and well-being are of utmost importance, and finding the right OB/GYN is a key factor in ensuring an overall positive healthcare experience. At University Health, we prioritize your satisfaction and comfort, offering a supportive environment and resources to empower your decision-making. Be sure to take the time you need, conduct thorough research, and always know that within our network, you have the flexibility to change doctors if your needs evolve or are not being met to your full expectation.