A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in treating the functions, diseases, and conditions of the human digestive system. That includes the long series of tubular structures starting at the mouth and going all the way to the anus, plus ancillary organs which play key supporting roles including the liver and pancreas.
If you have a gastrointestinal (GI) problem, or if you want the best in colon cancer screening, look for the best gastroenterologist in your area. Let’s talk about how to go about finding and selecting the ideal GI doctor for you, and where you can go in California to find an experienced gastroenterologist you can trust.
Ask Your Primary Care Physician for Recommendations
Your primary doctor will be happy to give you the names of (or referrals to) good gastroenterologists for you to consider. Your doctor knows medical specialists of all kinds in your area, and the doctor also knows you and your medical history, so the physician is a good person to ask for recommendations.
Check Your Health Insurance
Your insurance coverage carrier will have a list of gastroenterologists in your area who accept your insurance, so verify that the name(s) your doctor gave you are on that list. If the doctor gave you two names but only one of those names is on your insurance list, you can do two things: (1) go ahead with that one GI doctor, or (2) call the other doctor’s practice and ask them whether they take your insurance. Lists are often not up-to-date.
Check Your Prospective GI Doctor’s Qualifications
This is the point at which you can go online and look at each gastroenterologist’s website. The website should have a bio of the doctor, and there you can get a feel for who the doctor is and what they’re all about professionally.
Look for the GI doctor’s education, residency, fellowship (if any), credentials (such as board-certification), treatments offered, and special interests in the field of gastroenterology. The practice’s website will also give helpful information about everything they provide, what hospitals they work with, and their office location(s).
Book a Consultation at a GI Clinic in California
Many gastroenterologists will offer an initial consultation to meet with you as a new prospective patient. They may offer this online via a telehealth consultation, so do not feel slighted if this is the practice’s policy.
Have a list of questions ready for your initial appointment. During the visit (whether it’s online or in-person), think about the following factors:
- Does the GI doctor’s personality jibe with yours fairly well?
- Is the gastroenterologist willing to answer questions about your type of condition and explain possible ways to treat it?
- Are state-of-the-art procedures, such as capsule endoscopy, available at their practice?
After the visit, consider whether you felt comfortable talking with the doctor on a professional level. The physician doesn’t have to be “friendship-grade” so to speak, but as a patient you will want to be able to talk openly and honestly about your various health issues without feeling rushed, judged, or otherwise awkward. After all, GI problems can sometimes be awfully embarrassing to talk about.
Digestive Healthcare Across California
When you’re looking for the finest gastroenterologist in your area of California, inSite Digestive Health Care is here for you. Our digestive health centers feature the latest in gastrointestinal diagnostics, and we offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatments.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us at our clinic nearest you or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your digestive healthcare partner!