People get sick. It’s one of those unfortunate facts of life. And when it happens, it’s easy to feel unprepared or lost. You know that it’s important to find the right specialist to treat your diagnosis. But how do you know where to turn? Truth is, you don’t. So you follow the beaten path, even if where it leads is not the right place for you.

Research shows that most Americans will get a wrong diagnosis or the wrong direction on treatment at least once in their lives.  This could lead to unnecessary recovery time, added costs, additional negative health implications, or worse.

The potential consequences are scary. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, we should take the steps to receive the right care.

Think About the Consequences

Over the years, specialty care has become even more specialized. For example, within orthopedics, there are pediatric orthopedics, doctors who specialize specifically in scoliosis, and orthopedic oncologists, among many other specifications. And that’s just one specialty!

But we, as patients, have had a hard time keeping up, following recommendations for doctors somewhat blindly.

Finding a Doctor

People do more research on the next car they plan to buy than on finding a physician specialist that’s right for them. Many people just head to their nearest specialist, follow the referral of a friend or primary care physician, or think that a simple Google search will suffice in giving them the best results.

But there are problems with these methods. Who is closest isn’t always who is best. Your friend’s condition and situation may be different than yours. Your primary care physician may not have the time to do the proper research, so ends up referring you to an in-network specialist who may not be right for you. And we all know that merely searching the Internet won’t match us with the right physician.

Look at It This Way

Consider a metaphor: You would never take your BMW to a repair shop that specializes in fixing Ford trucks, would you? You’ve invested too much into this vehicle and would do the proper research to ensure it’s treated with care. Of course you would do this for your car, so why are we taking our health for granted? No, it’s not as expensive as a fancy BMW; it’s invaluable.

It’s okay to question your healthcare options. Step off the beaten path. Don’t go blindly any longer because the implications are far too dangerous to ignore.

Ready for better guidance to more specialized specialty care? Learn more about TopDoc Connect’s specialty matching service.