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Before You Make the Appointment With Your Gynecologist ...

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This guide is part of a series that includes confessions from real women and advice from real physicians that can help you prepare for your very own date with the doctor.

The best way to prepare for your appointment is to educate yourself about what will happen during your screening and to make sure you’re comfortable with the doctor with whom you will meet. Many health centers and clinics have pamphlets and other types of literature that you can pick up beforehand that will tell you about the screening process.

Finding the right doctor for you may involve a little trial and error, but the best way to start is to ask your family and friends about their gynecologists and try out a doctor that they recommend. Instead of playing roulette with the telephone book, talking to women who are close to you will give you a clearer idea of who your doctor will be. Dr. Steven Rabin also recommends doing a little research of your own. “To decide whom to go see, you aren’t just going to go to the Yellow Pages and look for a pretty picture or smart marketing,” he says. “If the doctor has a Web site, see what books he or she is recommending.”

Other great sources of advice are professionals in the medical field. If you talk to your pediatrician or your dermatologist, chances are they have some good leads for you. Rabin also recommended asking nurses. He added, “Sometimes doctors only know how other doctors are in the break room or the lounge. Asking nurses is a good thing because they see the doctors in action.” Whether you choose a doctor based on the recommendations of your friends or another physician, the most important thing to remember is to make sure that the doctor is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Margaret Cramer agrees. “To be recognized by the board means that they have reached a minimal level of competency” she explains.

About the Author: To find out more about Brittaney, visit www.gochase.tumblr.com.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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