Top Docs 2008 Part I: Who to See

Where to Get…A great doctor’s recommendation after you’ve looked everywhere else.

“Call the chief medical resident at a major hospital where you live,” advises Dr. Martin Solomon, a Brookline primary care physician and author of Don’t Worry, Be Healthy. “Say you need to speak to him or her about a personal issue, then say you’re looking for a primary care physician and ask for a recommendation.” The reasoning: “You’re more likely to get the name of a competent doctor as opposed to merely a ‘nice’ one.”

The trick doesn’t work, though, with lowly med students. “Most are in class all the time,” he notes, “and they’re probably not going to be from the area where they’re in school.”

Other ideas:
• A nurse, an anesthesiologist, or even a pharmacist: All get to work with—or observe—different doctors and surgeons in a variety of situations.
• If you have diabetes, try a vascular surgeon, who will have worked with diabetes specialists in internal medicine.
• The physicians’ referral service at your community hospital, which provides information about an M.D.’s specialties, licensing, and education.