We tend to think that all family doctors are practically the same; and that any differences that exist are so unimportant that it doesn’t matter whose clinic you end up going to. For certain areas of practice, yes, this may be the case. When you are in need of getting your blood taken, for instance – sure, it doesn’t really matter where you end up going. The services you will get at one clinic will be pretty similar to the services you will get at any other. They will take your blood and then ship it to another company that deals with analyzing it. Often times, two separate clinics end up sending your blood samples to the exact same company. So as far as the quality of the analysis goes, you’re pretty much getting the same thing.
But make no mistake about it – doctors are not fungible. You cannot replace one doctor or clinic with another and expect the same results all the time. There are certain areas of practice which some doctors have more speciality and understanding in than others, and this can make all of the difference.
When it comes to arthritis care, you will see that some doctors don’t even want to deal with the problem, and that is because they haven’t the slightest of clue how to. A quick google search can be very telling. If you search for the term family doctor Houston in Google, you will end up getting over eleven million results. But if you search for the term arthritis care houston, you get only a quarter of a million, less than three percent of the former. And this makes sense; clearly there are less arthritic are specialists than there are general doctors, and there are less general doctors who treat arthritis care than those who do. Because of this fact, it is vital that people do their own research online before visiting just about any clinic that comes to mind. Sometimes visiting a clinic that is further away saves time and money in the long run. It may seem very inconvenient in the moment to drive twenty minutes further, but as time goes on, that twenty minute investment could end up saving you a couple of hours or more.
So we know that an all-encompassing or umbrella-term like doctor houston or family physician houston won’t give you the results you need if you’re looking for any specialized health service. Often times a clinic will have one or two doctors in or near their facility that specialize in exactly the service you are in need of. It is very important that you give a call to your clinic and ask whether that is the case. This information may be on their website, but from personal experience, we’ve seen that most clinics’ websites fail to list the names and credentials of their doctors.
Of course, nothing beats a referral – and if you have a friend or family member who has gone to a certain clinic and received wonderful service, then maybe you don’t need to do any further research. It depends on how credible you think the person giving you the referral is, and whether you think the two of you have similar standards. If yes, great; if not, then at least you have a logically consistent, empirically verifiable methodology for determining which clinic will best meet your needs.