Updated January 01, 2014.
Need to find a dermatologist? From acne treatments to scar reduction, your dermatologist should be a knowledgeable and friendly partner. Find the right dermatologist for you by asking these questions.
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Who does my primary care doctor recommend?
You have a great resource available to you in your primary care doctor. Why not get his opinion on dermatologist? He can steer you in the right direction, or at least give you a starting point. And don’t forget to ask the nurses. They often have great insights and recommendations as well.
Do they accept my insurance?
Acne treatments are usually covered by insurance. Cosmetic procedures usually are not. Will you be interested in laser hair removal or anti-aging treatments as well? You may want to ask what the doctor charges for these procedures. The prices can vary depending on where you go.
What if you’re uninsured? Let the dermatologist’s office know right away if you’ll be paying out of pocket. Your doctor can help you keep costs down, by prescribing generic drugs for example, or working with you on payments.
Is the doctor board certified?
Board certified dermatologists have completed additional training, and have passed the board exam given by the American Board of Dermatology. Dermatologists that are board certified are deemed knowledgeable and competent in the treatment of skin, hair, and nails, skin surgeries, and more.
Also ask if the dermatologist has an area of expertise. Although any dermatologist can treat acne, you’ll feel more satisfied with a dermatologist who specializes in acne treatments, rather than one who is known more for treating hair loss or skin cancer.
Are the office hours accommodating?
If your work schedule makes it impossible to get away during the day, make sure the dermatologist has evening and/or weekend appointments available.
Ask how long it takes to get an appointment. Yes, we understand that all good doctors are busy. But if you have a problem, how quickly can you be seen?
If you love this dermatologist, you may be willing to wait. Better to know up front that it could take a bit of time before they can get you in, than to be surprised when you call for an appointment. Of course, if it’s necessary your doctor should be able to see you right away.
Do I feel comfortable with this person?
You must feel able to ask questions, voice your concerns, and be completely honest about all your health issues. A good relationship with your dermatologist is important. Do you feel rushed during your appointment? Do you like the doctor’s bedside manner? Sometimes two people just don’t click. That’s OK. Find someone you feel more comfortable with.