It can be quite stressful to try to find a suitable ENT doctor for you. Generally, you may be feeling unwell at the time of starting your search. You might be in a hurry to look for an ENT doctor who can diagnose your problem, suggest a proper treatment plan, and treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve. One doesn’t need hassles but a quick relief. Let us go through a few useful tips to help you search for an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist or the best otolaryngologist in Singapore.
First of all, you have to ensure that the ENT doctor you select has a certification in otolaryngology. For the sake of convenience, you may consider only those ENT doctors who have got a qualification in the USA. It ensures that you include only those physicians who have studied in a college for four years, followed by four years of a primary medical degree.
Apart from education and qualification, the doctor should also have completed a five-year residency program. Besides, every prospective ENT specialist needs to spend 51 months in relevant education to specialize in his domain. Even in a five-year residential course, the doctor must serve as a chief resident doctor in any legally approved institute.
Hence, in a nutshell, every ENT doctor must have completed a pre-medical school degree, followed by medical schooling and a minimum of five years of ENT training. Finally, the doctor needs to pass a national examination conducted by ABO (American Board of Otolaryngology). Remember that you can only say that an ENT doctor is an ENT specialist if ABO certifies it as ENT.
A few ENT doctors further specialize in additional domains. For example, if you need an ENT doctor for children, you may consider an ENT doctor specializing in pediatric otolaryngology. Similarly, if your condition is due to uncontrolled allergies, you might see an ENT doctor specializing in the treatment of allergies.
Contrary to several other medical specializations, ENT doctors complete training both as physicians and surgeons because they need to perform surgery to provide some treatments. It is essential to find out whether the ENT clinic has the required facilities to conduct common surgeries. A reasonably staffed and equipped ENT clinic should be able to perform several routine surgeries without referring you to some hospital. For instance, ENT surgeons can perform a standard surgery of balloon sinuplasty under local anesthesia in a well-equipped ENT clinic. You can ask the ENT office about their surgical facilities or accredited hospitals in case of complicated surgeries. Please ensure that the accredited facilities have a decent reputation in your locality.
How Friendly Is an ENT Specialist?
You got to be in a comfortable position to share your symptoms and concerns with your physician. It may not be desirable to have an ENT specialist whom you can not approach easily. Hence, If you see an ENT doctor for a preliminary discussion, try to understand his communication style and check that the doctor puts you at ease. You would want an ENT doctor to be by your side. The ENT doctor should be friendly and approachable if you intend to make him your family doctor for ENT problems.
Seek a Referral
Your primary doctor can be an excellent source of referrals. You may ask your primary care physician to refer you to multiple ENT specialists and also ensure to ask why he has recommended them.
You can also ask for endorsements from your family, friends, and colleagues. Apart from the ENT specialist’s name, make it a habit to ask them why they have recommended that particular ENT doctor because it is crucial. A friend may have recommended just because the ENT doctor offers extended office hours, but it may be irrelevant to you.
Feedback, Review, and Satisfaction Rating
You can look for reviews and survey responses on the internet, which can provide you with insights into how the doctor runs his office. You can check how the ENT office schedules appointments, the typical waiting time to get an appointment, and how friendly the ENT staff is.