Top Tips for Choosing Your Surgeon and Specialist

September 2, 2021
William Hanner D.O.

Are you currently searching for the right surgeon or specialist to assist you with your medical needs? Getting the best care for your symptoms is important—and that includes finding a doctor you can trust. Compassionate, honest advice and a personalized touch go a long way to promoting the long-term wellness you are looking for. And when it comes to finding the right care you need, you might have more choices than you realize.

We want to help you make the right choice in your surgeon or specialist, so you can receive customized medical treatments and care that give you peace of mind as you take control of your health needs. Here are some essential questions to ask as you research and narrow down your options to find the right surgeon or specialist in Tulsa.

Is the Doctor in Private Practice or Non-Private Practice?

In terms of surgery or specialty medical care, it’s important to learn how the doctor is employed. While that may seem like an unusual question, the reality is that where your doctor works can have great impact on their options when it comes to addressing your medical concerns. There are two main models for surgical and specialty medicine: private practice vs. hospitals/clinics. Here’s a quick look at how each can affect your care.

Private Practice

Much like a corporation, a private practice is run by its doctors. Private practices allow surgeons and specialists to operate with a level of independence that they don’t have when working for a hospital. 

For patients, this normally results in:

  • Lower costs for services
  • More personalized and friendly care
  • Open, honest communications
  • More time to plan care that fits your needs

Hospital or Clinic

Unlike private practices, hospitals and clinics tend to operate with a more institutional model. Whether they are non-profit, government-run or private, hospitals and clinics tend to be larger than private practices and they are also more bureaucratic.

For patients, the result often is:

  • Higher cost for medical care
  • Limited time because there are so many patients to see
  • Slower responses from staff when you have questions
  • A less personal touch

Does the Surgeon or Specialist Have Positive Reviews?

When people love their doctor, they share that news with others. So, getting word of mouth feedback is a valuable and effective way to find out if the surgeon or specialist you’re considering is a good fit for you. You can gain this information in a number of ways.

  • Ask around — Do you know anyone who has had the symptoms you’re having, or the procedure you’re considering? Find out who their specialist and surgeon was, and ask what they thought of the care they received.
  • Search online — Google reviews, Yelp, Facebook reviews and more are all ways to find out what the general buzz is about your doctor. Look at several recent comments in several places, and notice common themes.
  • Use doctor review sites — There are special review sites especially for medical professionals, such as,, and These sites allow patients to post their comments, and they also may provide other useful details about your doctor, such as where they attended medical school and their certifications.
  • Ask your primary care physician for a referral — Your personal doctor knows you and your unique needs, preferences and circumstances. They also know their fellow doctors in and around the Tulsa area. What better way to find the right fit than to get a recommendation from someone who knows your medical history already?

Is the Specialist/Surgeon Accepting Patients?

Not all doctors have space in their current practice to accept new patients. So, as you do your research, take time to find out which surgeons and specialists can see you. The easiest way to do so is to call the doctor’s office and ask. If they’re not able to see new patients, ask if they are offering referrals to anyone else in town. 

Does the Doctor Have Privileges at My Preferred Hospital?

Another important decision to make is where you will receive your medical care. Some specialists and surgeons can practice at all the area’s hospitals, while others may have privileges only at one or two of them. Do you prefer St. Francis, St. John’s, or Hillcrest? Does it matter to you to have your care at the hospital closest to your home, or are you willing to drive across town? Does one hospital have a better reputation when it comes to the care you desire than others? The answers to these questions can help determine which surgeon/specialist you ultimately select. 

Is the Surgeon in Network or Out of Network?

Healthcare insurance coverage is an important element in any decision you make about your medical care. In general, insurance policies cover in-network doctors at a higher rate of reimbursement, saving you money. Unless you have strong reasons to go out of network, choosing a surgeon or specialist that your insurance provider considers in network.

 To find an in-network doctor:

  • Check your policy. Larger employers offer a list of doctors in their network. This list is available in your healthcare paperwork or on the insurance provider’s website.
  • Make a call. You can always contact the doctor’s office directly to see if they take your insurance.

Midtown Surgical & Skin Institute is committed to providing superb service to Tulsans in every way, and that includes insurance coverage. We’re working to receive accreditation on all major insurance providers in the Tulsa area. Have questions? Give us a call and ask. We’re happy to help you make sure your insurance covers you before you make an appointment with us. 

Get Top-Level Care from Your Tulsa Area Surgeon/Specialist

When it comes to receiving the medical care you need, it helps to know you have a choice in your surgeon or specialist. After you’ve done your research, remember that we’re always here to answer your questions and assist you in making good decisions that fit your needs. Get started today by scheduling a consultation, or check out our online reviews to see why our patients love our services.

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