After you’ve narrowed down your list, hit the Internet. Many orthopedist or podiatrists also have websites which will give you information on where they went to school, how long they’ve been in practice, the types of services they offer, if they attend regular conferences or have continuing education, what their treatment philosophy is, even pictures of their office and facilities.
When you call the office, does the receptionist sound professional and courteous? Ask if they are accepting new patients and ask if they have experience working with patients who have diabetes? Are they able to answer your questions? If they seem reluctant to answer your questions that could be a sign of potential trouble in the future; best to move on to your next choice.
When you schedule your appointment be sure to ask what their cancellation policy is. If you do have to cancel your appointment, be sure to do it in the appropriate time frame or you may be charged – not a good way to start a relationship!
The doctor will provide you with intake forms that record your medical history. This may include information about any medical conditions or illnesses you have (or had), medicines you take and allergies you have.
Be sure to tell them you have diabetes, how long you’ve had it, how you control it, your current A1C level, as well as problems (dental or physical) you’ve had recently. If you have had any foot problems, such as:
- Ulcers indicate the location, time to heal, wound care necessary for healing
- Infections: type, bacteria involved, medical treatment necessary
- Amputations: type, time to heal, modalities used in healing process
- Surgeries/Injuries: type, location
Your doctor should follow up on these issues every visit.