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Abridged from www.angieslist.com
While you might not necessarily think of a foot doctor immediately when thinking of your wellness team as you age, a podiatrist is indeed just as important as a geriatrician or an ophthalmologist. As you search for your new podiatrist, be sure to keep a few things in mind to help make your decision.
Narrow your search for a podiatrist
Keep in mind that podiatrists are specifically trained to diagnose and treat issues with the ankles, feet and parts of the leg. Doctors can notice many health problems like diabetes, arthritis and nerve issues with symptoms affecting the foot.
You’ll want an experienced podiatrist to be sure that he or she quickly diagnoses any health issues. If you already have a diagnosis of certain medical conditions, diabetes especially, you will want to be sure that you establish a relationship with a podiatrist sooner than later. Many podiatrists focus on preventive care for such diseases and will assure that any complications from diabetes or other diseases are minimized or avoided all together.
Make sure the podiatrist accepts your insurance
Next, be sure that the podiatrist accepts your insurance. If you are covered under Medicare and have supplemental insurance, make sure that the doctor’s office is in network for maximum savings.
Be sure that the office has an experienced, friendly and helpful office staff that can help you navigate the regulations and rules of Medicare coverage. While that is not required, it certainly helps out if you have a friendly and helpful person that you can call should you get a bill that you do not understand.
Ask for approximate costs for wellness care such as routine check-ups and nail trimming appointments, so that no one is surprised when bills are mailed out.
Make sure it’s the right fit
Finally, consider the style and bedside manner of the podiatrist. If you prefer highly personalized care with the ability to reach your podiatrist easily and without incident, you might want to search for a smaller office that serves fewer patients. If you don’t mind waiting for routine checkups if it means you are getting more advanced care, you might consider a larger office practice. Neither one of these options are better than the other, but be sure that your expectations and style match that of the podiatrist.