With more than 200,000 female doctors and nurses in the United States, it’s no wonder women are struggling to get care.
“The shortage is a huge issue,” said Jessica Fishell, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
“It’s just a really big problem for the population.”
And yet, women doctors and medical students are still underrepresented in their field, and a lack of funding and awareness is to blame.
As a result, there’s little funding for women in medicine, and many women simply can’t afford to go to work.
So what can women do to make sure they have access to the best healthcare in the country?
Here’s a look at a few strategies for getting the best care.
Women’s healthcare is complicated, so it’s best to get involved.
Here are the best ways to reach out to your family or friends.
Women tend to be more self-directed than men, which can create a gap between the healthcare needs of women and the available healthcare resources.
“They’re not always going to be able to see the doctors and see the specialists, so they’re going to go into a place where they’re not going to get the kind of care that they want,” said Stephanie Mottrell, a social worker in the Midwest.
But it can be helpful to connect with others who have experience working with women and get their thoughts on what they’re seeing.
“I always say that you should talk to someone who has a background in the field and they should be your primary source of information,” said Fiswell.
“That’s what we call the ‘buddy system’ of the healthcare industry, which means if you have a buddy who has been in the industry, they’re more likely to be knowledgeable about what they know, and if they don’t know what they do know, they can help you get that information from someone who is.
You should definitely find someone who’s a physician, an internist, or nurse, and then if you’re really interested in a particular topic, then you can always find a network to go with,” she added.
“People don’t just need to go through the same process, but they have to find ways to collaborate.”
A few recommendations on what to look for in a healthcare provider.
First, ask about the types of care they offer.
“You have to really ask questions like, ‘Where do you see your role going?
How much does this help you to live?’
‘What are you trying to achieve with your healthcare?
Are you trying out a new therapy or an experimental drug?'” said Fischell.
“If you’re going into a medical practice, you’re more focused on the patient, and you want to make the right choices about how you want your healthcare to be,” she said.
Fisheim added, “You should always ask about what’s covered and what isn’t.”
“Ask questions like these, and ask about how much money they’re bringing in,” said Mottrel.
She added, “[You should] ask how much care they’re providing, and what kind of equipment is they using.”
Another important question to ask is, “How much does your provider make?”
“What are they charging you?
What kind of fees are they asking you to pay?” said Mowrell.
“And you want a good estimate, because you want the doctor to know what kind you’re paying, so that they can make sure that you get the best outcome.”
Mottruff added, In some cases, if you’ve found a doctor who’s really dedicated to the patient and their interests, they’ll want to keep a close eye on them.
“In some cases they may have a relationship with the hospital where you’re treating them,” said Darlene Fishel, a clinical psychologist in Miami.
“But other times, they might have been in another location.
That can be very important to you.”
She suggested asking your doctor to tell you what services they offer, as well as the rates and terms of reimbursement for the services.
Finally, ask your doctor if they have a referral for you.
“So if you go in, you ask the doctor for an appointment and you find out that the referral was from the same hospital where they are now,” said Phoebe Dillard, a certified nurse anesthetist in Atlanta.
She said that a referral from the primary care provider is the best way to get access to all the care you need.
“Because the referral is from a trusted source, you know you’re getting the care that you need, which is important to know,” she explained.
If you’re having trouble getting a referral, you can check out the website of the American College of Physicians.
You can also get in touch with the American Board of Family Practice, a national nonprofit group that represents physicians in the healthcare field.
You will find a referral code