How to Select a Doctor

Ask the experts

To find a physician whose education, training, location and medical interests match your needs, call 1-800-SCRIPPS (1-800-727-4777). Our knowledgeable call center staff members are here to help, offering referrals to physicians throughout San Diego County.

To search for a doctor on your own using the Scripps Doctor Finder, it may help to consider the following:

What type of physician do you need?
If you have an HMO plan, you must first choose a primary care physician who will refer you for specialty care as needed. Family practitioners, internists, and pediatricians are all considered primary care physicians.

If you have a special health concern, consider looking for a physician with in-depth training in that area. Some physicians have additional expertise in women’s health issues, heart disease, sports medicine or other areas.

What factors are most important when selecting a physician?
The most important factor in selecting a physician is his or her background — clinical training, experience, board certification plus interests and expertise in specialized areas — depending on the care you need. The age and gender of your physician may also be important to you.

If you prefer speaking to your doctor in a language other than English, indicate this to a referral staff member. Or, select that language, if available, from the drop-down menu in the “Language spoken” search field.

Do you want a large group practice or a small office?
Choose the setting where you feel most comfortable, whether it is a large medical practice that offers a variety of doctors, a smaller practice or a solo practitioner’s office. Larger offices may present more options should your doctor be unavailable when needed. Smaller offices may provide more personal attention, but not always.

Where is the office located?
The location and office hours should be convenient and accessible, perhaps near home or work.

If you need hospital care, where will you go?
Make sure your physician can care for you at the hospital of your choice, and that he or she would be willing to admit you to that hospital if necessary. Your options are also determined, in part, by your health plan. Before you sign up with a particular plan, check to make sure it gives you access to Scripps hospitals.