Most people love to shop be it for clothes, shoes, handbags, utensils the list is endless. I am one notorious one especially when it comes to shoes and this reminds me of an incidence the other day when my husband send me to buy some essentials only for my shoes to throw tantrums while on Harambee Avenue Nairobi City that I had to get into the nearest stall and buy myself very nice (but quite expensive) shoes. Filled with ‘justifiable shame-on-me’ feeling, I reported myself immediately my husband arrived home and as usual, he laughed it off with an I-know-you-love-shoes kind of look! Anyway that’s a story for another date with the girls.
There are tens of thousands if not millions tips on how to shop in order to save some cash. Who after all doesn’t want to get the best deal for their money especially during these tough economic times?
By virtue of being a self-appointed maternal, newborn and children health advocate, I will spare shopping for a hair stylist, nail artist or interior designer for now and go straight into shopping for one very important service provider for any woman; a gynaecologist.
Different reasons initiate a hunt for a new gynae for example life events such as relocation, new job which means new insurance cover with new list of service providers in their panel, retirement of your doctor or simply ‘divorcing’ the one you have because he/she is too busy or incompetent for your liking (oops!).
So, how do you go about your shopping for that service provider that is not only essential but beyond essential to any woman especially when pregnant? I have compiled 3 step easy-to-use-easy-to-apply tips on how to go about it. Hope it helps.
Step one: Operation make a list
You definitely want a ‘good’ gynae right? Then start by defining what ‘good’ means to you because what is good to another woman may not necessarily be good to you.
A simple tip in defining ‘good’ is by making a list of the traits that are important to you in a gynaecologist. For starters, your list might include the 3 important Es: Education, Experience and Expertise. This is simply when and where the physician received his/ her training; how long he/she has been practicing and his/ her area of expertise for example prenatal care, obstetric, infertility etc.
Other factors worth considering include:
- Gender– consider your preference; are you more comfortable with a female or male physician?
- Cost– is the physician in the panel of your insurance service providers or is his/ her consultation fees reasonable and affordable enough if you do not have a cover or if he/she is not in the panel of your insurance service providers?
- Affiliated hospitals– you likely will want a physician who has practicing privileges at your preferred hospitals or those hospitals that your insurance has approved as a service provider.
Step two: Operation ‘window’ shop
Now that you have your list in mind, what follows is to embark on operation window shopping around. Just the same way you ask friends or go to safaricom centers for example to look for that perfect phone or laptop with your specifications, do the same for a gynae. Ask for referrals from female family members, friends, neighbours, other doctors or trusted co-workers. If you belong to an online support group you can ask the group members for their recommendation. The tip here is, if the same names of gynae resurface, there are good chances of having a shortlist of professionals with solid reputations.
Step Three: Operation schedule an appointment
One thing I know is that every woman says that her gynae is the best I am yet to find one who doesn’t feel the same about her gynae. But as I said earlier, ‘good’ or ‘best’ is subjective and relative it is only through a scheduled appointment with the said gynae that you will know if he/she is worth engaging or not.
It is important to remember that it may take more than one visit for you and your new doctor to establish a comfortable relationship. But if it doesn’t happen, trust your instincts and find another gynae. You should never feel obligated to continue seeing a gynae if you are uneasy especially about his/ her availability, flexibility, listening skills etc.
Once you have found the right gynae, be good; spread the word for it might be just the referral someone else out there is looking for. All the best in your hunting venture.