Top 5 Tips on How to Find a Good Urologist
The digital age of healthcare is putting you, the patient, in charge. At VirtuCare we think this is fantastic! You can choose who cuts your hair or fixes your leaky kitchen faucet. So shouldn’t you be able to choose who delivers your healthcare?
Speaking of leaky faucets, you’re probably on this page now because you’re in need of a “plumber” (aka urologist). Urologists are experts of the urinary tract and male genitalia. If your “pipes” need some work, then a good urologist can help.
But where do you start in finding a urologist? Do you go old-fashioned and ask for a referral from your family doctor? Do you consult Dr. Google?
More importantly, how do you find a good urologist? Actually, forget good . . . let’s go for an exceptional urologist. When it comes to your junk or lady business, don’t you want the very best?
Allow us to guide you in your quest to find a good (exceptional) urologist. Here are our top 5 tips:
Look at Patient Reviews
The best predictor of future experiences is to review past experiences. This is where online patient reviews can be extremely helpful in finding a good urologist. However, you should keep a few things in mind.
Quantity and quality both matter
The larger the sample size, the higher the likelihood that the online reviews reflect whether a urologist is a good doctor. If a urologist has >100 five star reviews it’s hard to imagine that he or she is a bad urologist. On the other hand, having 20 reviews, many of which are negative should raise some red flags.
Every doctor will have some 1-star reviews
Unfortunately in healthcare, patients don’t always have great experiences even with good urologists. Let’s start with all of the “non-doctor” stuff that makes healthcare painful:
- Insurance companies
- Lack of access
- Hidden costs
- Rude staff
The urologist may have been great, but some other factor ruined the healthcare experience. That’s why we at VirtuCare are removing these obstacles to exceptional care by providing same-day telemedicine visits outside of insurance for a reasonable price of $89.
But even once you remove these barriers to healthcare, patients will still report negative reviews. Maybe the doctor was rude, didn’t listen or was having a bad day. Even a good urologist has a bad day.
More often than not however, some patients have unrealistic expectations. Sometimes you’re hurting and there isn’t “something wrong” that requires yet another test. A good urologist should listen to your concerns, but not fixing the problem doesn’t make them a bad urologist either.
Read the comments
Are patients taking the time to describe their experience with the urologist? Reviews with comments should hold more weight. They should give you some insight on the reviewer (e.g. are they Mr. Negative and leave lots of negative reviews), as well as some flavor of the urologist’s personality.
I personally respond to all of my reviews. Patients have reported back to me that as a result they felt like they knew me before their 1st visit. They were also shocked, in a good way, that I took the time to respond.
A good urologist who cares about his or her patients will shine in the comment section. Speaking of shining, another great way to find a good urologist is . . .
Ask for Personal Recommendation
Anonymous on-line reviews gain credibility with numbers. However, a personal recommendation from a trusted family member or friend carries significant weight as well. This allows you the opportunity to ask some specific questions about their experience.
In fact we recommend you ask them the following questions:
How did you find the urologist?
Did your friend already do a lot of the legwork and read through the hundreds of on-line reviews touting how good the urologist was with other patients? Did they search for a specific area of expertise for their issue? Was the urologist recommended by another friend?
Context matters. If they saw a bladder leakage expert at a university and you’re considering a surgery for prostate cancer, you probably need a different urologist.
What made your experience great?
You need to see if your values align with those of your friend. They may have thought they found a good urologist because the wait time in the office was short. They didn’t care that the urologist was in-and-out of the room in less than 3 minutes because your friend just needed antibiotics.
If you like a urologist who spends time with you, then maybe your friend’s recommendation may not be the best fit for you. The more details you can gather about their experience, the higher the likelihood that you’ll find a good urologist for you.
What would have made your experience better?
A minor annoyance to one person, is another person’s pet peeve. I have patients drive several hours to see me at my private practice without a single complaint. Other potential patients refuse to see me because they won’t drive 20 minutes into Nashville because they “hate traffic”.
You may find that your friend is overlooking a major no-no for you in finding a good urologist. On the other hand they may complain about something that doesn’t bother you in the least.
Instead of leaning on the recommendation of a friend, maybe you should . . .
Request a Referral from your Primary Care Provider
As a healthcare professional we have the inside scoop on who’s really a good doctor and sadly who is not. Therefore a referral from your trusted primary care provider should be your best bet to finding a good urologist. Correct?
Not so fast. Doctors’ opinions are biased as well. Be curious as to why your primary care provider refers his/her patients to a specific urologist.
The worst answer you can receive is “I’ve been sending him my patients for 30 years.” Medicine changes rapidly. If your primary care doctor hasn’t kept up with the times, then there’s a chance the urologist hasn’t either. The last thing you need in 2021 is 1990’s medicine.
Most doctors are hesitant to criticize a colleague. Therefore if your primary care doctor is anything less than effusive with praise for a urologist, then keep looking. Sometimes it’s in what they don’t say that speaks volumes.
On the other hand, if your primary care doctor puts the urologist on a pedestal next to Saint Peter, Mother Teresa and Tom Brady (yes he’s that good), then you should have little concern about whether you’re about to see a quality urologist.
Speaking of quality, you should probably also review the urologist’s. . .
Credentials and Expertise
Finding a good urologist shouldn’t be solely based on where they went to school, but looking at urologists credentials and expertise would be a wise move.
Urology is a very competitive field. There are only 143 urology residency programs in the U.S. You can rest assured that most urologists undergo a rigorous training program. Although certain schools and hospitals have a certain cache (e.g. Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Northwestern . . . I am a biased graduate of Northwestern for the record), there are mostly good and few “bad” urologists from all programs.
After training is completed, most hospitals require that urologists are board-certified by the American Board of Urology. This credentialing process is meant to ensure that a urologist is up-to-date in his/her knowledge and doesn't have any major issues/complaints from practicing. Although lack of board-certification should be a red flag when finding a urologist, don’t assume this process is infallible because it is not.
What you definitely need to consider is the reason you’re finding a good urologist. Most urologists care for any and all urological conditions. But some have areas of expertise that may not align with your needs.
Are you looking for general help in the bedroom or bathroom? Then dial up a board-certified urologist with VirtuCare.
Are you needing an experienced surgeon to remove your prostate cancer? Then head to a high-volume prostate cancer center in your region.
Did your friend see the bladder leakage expert? The urogynecologist is probably not the best choice to treat your large kidney stone.
Now that you’ve considered all of these options, our last tip on finding a good urologist is to . . .
Let VirtuCare Help
The best person to help you find a good urologist is . . . a good urologist. VirtuCare has a team of well connected urologists across the country. Chances are that we know a urologist in your area who can provide you with expert care.
Unfortunately 60% of U.S. counties don’t have a urologist and by the year 2025, the U.S. will be short over 4000 urologists! That is why we formed VirtuCare so you can have access to a board-certified urologist from the comfort of your home.
You can schedule a virtual visit with a VirtuCare urologist today. We make expert urological care easy.
At only $89 outside of insurance, you can have an affordable visit from the comfort of your home. Our urologists can treat UTIs, provide second opinions on complex issues or even refer you to a surgical expert for hands-on care.
We hand-pick our team members for their compassion, expertise and experience. You don’t have to worry about finding a good urologist because we found one for you.
Correction . . . an exceptional urologist.
Click here to start your visit today because you deserve only the best below the belt.