Updated On: 4/3/2013 3:17:31 PM
Finding a new health care provider is always a high priority. Be sure to start your search when you arrive rather than wait until you or a family member becomes ill. Besides, trust in your doctor builds slowly over time so start the relationship as soon as possible.
Begin your search in the local phone book, with referrals from friends or other doctors, on the Internet or in the Buyer’s Guide of this publication. Consider the following tips before you decide:
Ask health insurance plans and medical offices for information on their doctors’ training and experience.
Use AMA Resources for Patients, the American Medical Association’s free physicians’ information service at www.ama-assn.org.
Has the doctor completed several years of training in a specialty and passed an exam? Visit the American Board of Medical Specialties at www.abms.org , or call 866-275-2267.
Has anyone registered a complaint or taken disciplinary action against the doctor? To find out, call your State Medical Licensing Board.
Are there any complaints registered with your state department of insurance?
Call the doctor’s office and ask for an appointment. Most doctors will take the time to meet potential patients, but remember that a doctor’s time is valuable so expect a nominal fee.
When you are meeting the doctor and his staff for the first time, consider the following:
When scheduling the appointment, was the receptionist friendly, prompt and professional? Did he/she take the time to answer your questions? Were you left on hold for too long? Did he/she seem knowledgeable about the workings of the office?
When arriving for your appointment, were you greeted promptly? Was the reception area clean and comfortable? Was the staff friendly and willing to answer your questions?
Did you have to wait long in the exam room before the doctor arrived? Was the exam room orderly and clean with a chair for a family member to sit in?
When the doctor arrived, did he/she introduce him/herself with a smile? Did he/she seem rushed or tired? Did you get a good first impression? Did you feel comfortable revealing personal information?
During the consultation, did nurses pop in and out? Did the doctor leave the room during your conversation? Did the doctor seem caring, compassionate and sympathetic to your concerns? Did the doctor rush through the meeting? Did the doctor seem relaxed? Did you feel as though you were the only patient he/she had to see that day?
Treat finding a doctor as seriously as looking for a new job or a new home. Depending on the length of time you will be in the area, this relationship is a long-term commitment and you want to be comfortable with the person that will see you while you are most vulnerable.
For additional information, contact the Montgomery County Health Department at 334-293-6400 and www.adph.org/montgomery . Another helpful resource is the State Department of Health at 334-206-5300 and www.adph.org.
3060 Mobile Highway
Montgomery. AL 36108
7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Vaccines are available to prevent polio, diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) and Hepatitis B (under specific guidelines). Infants should begin receiving immunizations at 2 months of age. A certificate of immunizations is required for entry into day care centers, Head Start, and public and private schools through grade 12.
Overseas travel information is provided and required and recommended vaccines are available for a fee. An appointment is required to receive travel vaccines. For more information, call 334-293-6448.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Health assessments, supplemental food and nutrition education are available to pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age 5. For more information, call 334-293-6450.
Birth control information, counseling and methods of contraception are available. For more information, call 334-293-6447.
Home Health Services
Home Health Aide
Medical Social Work
Life Care Services
Medicaid Waiver and Private Pay
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Confidential investigation, examination, counseling and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases are provided for anyone 12 years of age or older. Walk-in clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 334-293-6418.
Tuberculin skin test, sputum test and X-ray (if indicated) are available to anyone for diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more information, call 334-293-6423.
Emergencies can happen at any time and knowing the location of local hospitals can save valuable time during these crises. Remember that for any life-threatening situation, dial 911 immediately.
Baptist Medical Center South
2105 E. South Blvd.
Montgomery, AL 36111 334-288-2100
Baptist Medical Center East
400 Taylor Road
Montgomery, AL 36117 334-277-8330
With several locations, Baptist Health is able to serve the needs of the entire family. The hospital system features physicians specializing in family medicine, internal medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, podiatry, sleep disorders, women’s health and much more.
Since 1963, Baptist Medical Center South has grown to become Montgomery’s largest health care facility. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), this licensed 454-bed, faith-based, not-for-profit medical center is committed to meeting the health care needs of central Alabama with care and compassion.
Baptist Medical Center East is a licensed 150-bed full-service hospital providing a wide range of health care services for residents of east Montgomery. The facility was recently named one the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters. Baptist East also received the 2010 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award, classifying it in the top 5 percent in the nation for patient safety.
The Baptist medical system also includes facilities for behavioral health, surgeries and imaging services. Call the individual medical centers for general visitation hours. The systems’ facilities also offer an array of volunteer opportunities, from clerical tasks to transporting patients and more.
1725 Pine St.
Montgomery, AL 36106 334-293-8000
Jackson hospital opened in 1946 with 37 patient beds and five attending physicians. Today, Jackson is licensed for 344 beds and is an excellent community not-for-profit hospital serving Montgomery and the Alabama River Region.
Comprehensive health care services include cardiac, cancer, neurosciences, orthopedics and women’s and children’s care, along with 24-hour emergency services. It ranks among the largest hospitals in Alabama and is widely recognized for providing excellence in care. Even with leading-edge technology and facilities, the hospital remains true to its mission of providing superior personal health care in a safe, compassionate environment.
Volunteering at Jackson Hospital is a rewarding experience. Volunteers must be at least 19 years old and are asked to work four hours a week. Call the medical center for more information and for general visitation hours.
Veterans Health Care System
215 Perry Hill Road
Montgomery, AL 36109 334-272-4670
Toll Free 800-214-8387
CAVHCS was established in 1997 from the merger of the Montgomery and Tuskegee VA Medical Centers, which are approximately 40 miles apart. Along with its two community-based outpatient clinics, these four sites serve more than 134,000 veterans living in a 43-county area of Georgia and Alabama. Services include:
Extended care and rehabilitation: physical medicine and rehabilitation, transitional care, as well as home and community care.
Mental health: consultation, evaluation and treatment for a variety of issues that can affect emotional well-being.
Pharmacy: Prescriptions may be refilled by mail, phone or online.
Primary care: The primary care program offers an extensive range of treatments with an emphasis on health care prevention.
Social work: The program assists veterans with counseling and community services.
Acute care, specialty and diagnostics: The specialty care program includes Surgical and Medical Service with six functional areas: inpatient surgery, outpatient surgery, acute medicine, intensive care, cardio-pulmonary and specialty clinics.
Women’s health: The program includes a number of clinical services, including gynecology, mammography, reproductive care and menopause treatment.
FINDING A LOCAL DOCTOR/DENTIST
Look for local doctors listed in the yellow pages of this guide; the hospitals listed in this chapter also have links to physician clinics available on their website. Visit Health Grades at www.healthgrades.com to find a new doctor. The website allows you to search by location and specialty. Health Grades rates health care providers based on data compiled from many private and public sources such as state medical board records. Its physician data is updated quarterly.
Another resource for finding a local doctor is the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Its website will allow you to search the member directory for health care providers who specialize in everything from eye care to dental to mental health. Visit www.montgomerychamber.com/page.aspx?pid=265 for more information.