An obstetrician is a specialized physician with advanced training in pregnancy, childbirth, and women’s reproductive matters. These doctors are also known as OB/GYNs and go through specialized programs that focus on:
- Prenatal health
- Labor and childbirth
- Health problems after childbirth
- Genetics and genetic counseling
Dr. A. Michael Coppa has practiced as an OB/GYN in Cranston and Smithfield, Rhode Island, for more than 25 years. During that time, he’s provided personalized and compassionate care for a wide range of women’s issues, including infertility, endometriosis, and menopause. He also specializes in overall women’s health and wellness along with high-risk pregnancies, and he has delivered thousands of babies.
Because of the personal nature of women’s health issues, it’s essential to find an obstetrician who makes you feel comfortable and whose expertise you can rely on. Dr. Coppa recommends keeping these eight things in mind to help you find the right doctor.
1. Ask for recommendations and check their reviews
Start by asking your female friends or family if they have an OB/GYN they would recommend. Find out why they like their doctor, why they would — or wouldn’t — recommend them, and if their doctor has specific obstetrician skills or experience. Once you have a name, don’t underestimate the power of doing a little research. It’s easy to find information online about their friendliness, trustworthiness, ease of appointment scheduling, and average wait times. Many sites also provide doctor ratings and share patient comments, both good and bad.
2. Consider your health history
If you have any chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you can experience higher risks while pregnant. Your obstetrics needs could also be different if you previously had a C-section or if you’ve had problems conceiving. Thinking about your personal health history can help you identify specific issues that might require specialized gynecological or obstetric care.
3. Review their credentials
Your potential OB/GYN’s credentials should be available on their website or elsewhere online. Check the following details:
- Where they went to medical school and finished their residency
- How long they’ve been in practice
- Hospital affiliations
- Specialties, especially if you have a certain condition, such as a high-risk pregnancy
- Whether they’ve had disciplinary actions, complaints, or malpractice suits
It’s also important to see if the doctor is board-certified by the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecology.
4. Make sure they share your values
When it comes to seeing an OB/GYN, your health care needs will involve topics like birth control, pregnancy, childbirth, and post-delivery care. To establish a trusted relationship, make sure you have similar views and are open to the same things. Making sure your obstetrician has similar values can help you have comfortable conversations about anything related to your reproductive health and pregnancy.
5. Confirm that they take your insurance
A doctor's visit can be expensive, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Before scheduling an appointment, contact your insurance provider to confirm the doctor and their clinic are part of your health care network. It’s also helpful to review your insurance benefits so you can understand what’s covered and what isn’t.
6. Look at their hospital affiliations
When you see an obstetrician, some of your visits might be at a hospital, especially if you’re pregnant. Look into their hospital affiliations to make sure the facilities have high-quality standards. These types of ratings often include patient reviews on services and care, information on the number of people who had infections or complications after surgery, and death rates for a variety of conditions and procedures. Also, check the hospital’s location to make sure it’s convenient.
7. Make sure you feel comfortable with them
Your obstetrician is going to perform your gynecological exam and ask very personal questions related to your reproductive health. It’s essential that you feel as comfortable with them as possible so you can discuss anything, which will enable them to provide the best health care possible. This can be a subjective process, but it’s crucial to find someone you’re completely comfortable with.
8. Don’t forget the importance of a good bedside manner
Even the most experienced doctors with the best training can have a terrible bedside manner. Look for a doctor who not only listens to you but also respects what you have to say. Remember, your OB/GYN appointments should involve open communication, not someone simply telling you what to do.
For more tips on finding the best obstetrician for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with A. Michael Coppa, M.D. today.