College of DuPage Nursing Student Antonette Lang suggests that you imagine you are a young woman, perhaps you just graduated from high school, or your own way to enter your fabulous 20’s. At this point, in life, you are either considering or ready for your first OB-GYN appointment. Lucky you!
You may have some anxiety about who, what, when and where. This is a normal feeling you are experiencing. After all, the relationship between a female and their OB-GYN is very similar to a long marriage; so finding the right one is a crucial element. Your Mom may offer up her OB-GYN, like a precious pearl necklace family heirloom.
Good choice for some, but some women may react, like “Mom, please, we don’t need to share everything!” So…I would like to provide you ladies with some ways to help find the perfect OB-GYN fit for you.
First, The Basics
What is an OB-GYN?
Your gynecologist, OB-GYN or women’s health specialist screens you for diseases, help you plan a family, with either assisting with or preventing pregnancies. OB-GYN’s also helped with those pesky below-the-belt problems and more.
When should I make my first appointment?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Girls should have their first gynecologic visit between the ages of 13 years and 15 years. Girls that are sexually active should seek a gynecological visit (2017). A Pap smear is a microscopic examination of cells taken from the uterine cervix. A Pap test can detect certain viral infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), which is known to cause cervical cancer. Most abnormal Pap smear results indicate the early stages of the disease and need reasonable observation by a doctor. Creating a lasting relationship with an OB-GYN is crucial to maintaining good health for years to come. OB-GYNs can also serve as primary care physicians.
How will I find the perfect OB-GYN?
- Start Digging. You need to do your research on local OB-GYNs in your area. This can be a daunting task, but this pays out in the end. A couple of websites to use for your research are:
- Local area Hospitals
- At your appointment, make sure that you and your Doctor share the same values. If your purpose of going to the doctor is to determine your best birth control route, and your doctor does not believe in birth control, then this will not work. Your doctor and yourself should be on the same page.
- Examine their bedside manner when in the examining room. While all doctors should be respectful and compassionate, those qualities are not always practiced in the examining room. Discussing sex, family planning, your fears and not to mention some embarrassing female health issues is a lot more pleasant when your doctor is engaged and interested. If the doctor seems bored or judgmental by any of your questions or concerns, say Bye Bye!
- Observe if the doctor is a listener or a talker. There is an art to listening, and in general, a doctor that is well skilled in the art of listening will do well in practice. Nothing is more frustrating then, trying to talk about your health needs and the whole time the doctor is taking up your precious time to talk about him or herself. If you don’t feel heard, then say Bye, Bye!
- Pay close attention to the customer service of the doctor’s staff. The doctor’s staff includes the medical assistant, medical biller, receptionist, and nurse. The doctor’s team represents the type of office that is being portrayed to the patients. If there are constant scheduling issues, medical billing issues, or the nurse and medical assistant are disengaged and rude, say Bye, Bye! This is very important because the staff is the go-between you and your doctor. The nurse or medical assistant is the person that you will usually tell all your personal information about at your visit, so it is imperative that you feel welcomed.
- Male or female doctor? Well, this is all about personal preference. Some women will only see female OB-GYN’s and some women will only use male OB-GYN’S. In the end, you have to do what makes you feel the most comfortable. The important thing is their skill level and credentials.
- When making an appointment for your first visit, make sure the doctor and hospital they are affiliated with accept your insurance. This little step will save you hundreds if not thousands in medical bills.
Using these tools will help guide you in finding the right OB-GYN for you. This can also be used for any health-care professional.