Tips on choosing a doctor?

wubbles

Active Member
Hi, thanks for taking the time to read. A little background: I grew up in a military family and healthcare was always a no brainer because I just had to go to the clinic on base and get whatever I needed taken care of. Now that I'm out on my own I'm a little confused on the best way to choose my new doctor other than simply asking people for guidance. I feel like it's a big decision and I'm going through some major changes in my life.

I have taken control of my habits after spending a lot of time enjoying the delights of being over 21. I've worked off a lot of weight so far and intend to improve on my progress but would like the guidance of a doctor to make sure I keep myself healthy (and that I am currently healthy, no physical in 2 years). Does your doctor sound like someone that could help out someone like me? I'm male and would probably prefer a male doctor but I am entirely clueless as to what is best and very open to recommendations.

If you go to Find a Doctor and use NFH as the prefix and search based on zip code 20653 you will see what I have access to.

I'm at a loss and feel like I'm throwing a dart when trying to figure out who to go to; any advice? Thank you again for reading.

(I realized right before posting that this is probably better in the Health subforum, I hope posting it here isn't too selfish.)
 

acommondisaster

Active Member
Do you want male or female doctor or doesn't it matter.

I liked Shah Associates; never waited long for my appointments and they've got just about every kind of doctor you might ever be referred to right there.
And the nursing staff was great. I changed because the drive has just gotten too much for me.
 

wubbles

Active Member
I'd prefer male but am open to all recommendations. I don't really have a reason for preferring that way, but I think I do. My doctor all my life up until now has been female but it was never an issue but as I get older I think I'd be more comfortable discussing more personal aspects of health with another male but it probably doesn't make a difference.

Thanks for the tip on Shah Associates, I will check them out and ask around.

EDIT: I am filling out their contact form with the same general information provided here and will see what they have to say. I am really liking everything I see about them so far, thanks again for the tip.
 
Last edited:

ginwoman

Well-Known Member
Dr. Patil with Shah Assoc. at the Medical Arts Building in Leonardtown seems very good. (male)
 

red_explorer

Well-Known Member
Nightmare

The Shahs are terrible...but you will have a hard time finding a doctor in St Marys that isnt Shah. The Shahs I dealt with were extremely rude, and very difficult to deal with, and since my husband had a lot of health issues, we were in their offices, many of them, very frequently. In fact...you should do a search on here. There are many negative threads about the Shahs. I actually go to a newer doctor in Calvert, not a Shah, and she is wonderful.
 

acommondisaster

Active Member
Wow, I guess I've been lucky. I loved their staff and my doctor. Now I feel bad for recommending them. I hope you find a good doctor. I'd recommend mine here, but he's an internist and you don't need that.
 

wubbles

Active Member
Digging through past posts it seems to be really mixed reviews. People either love them (Shah) or hate them but I guess that goes for most things. Digging through recent posts I found one talking about Dr. Stephen Cafferty saying, "He is a great doctor, very easy to talk to and one of the only doctors I've had that will actually listen to you. We go to whatever specialists we choose (so long as they accept our insurance). He is affiliated with Calvert Memorial but I've seen specialists in St. Mary's and Charles Co. too - he doesn't push anyone on you." That seems like a great endorsement and worth researching further.
 

DoWhat

Go Trump!!!!!
PREMO Member
Digging through past posts it seems to be really mixed reviews. People either love them (Shah) or hate them but I guess that goes for most things. Digging through recent posts I found one talking about Dr. Stephen Cafferty saying, "He is a great doctor, very easy to talk to and one of the only doctors I've had that will actually listen to you. We go to whatever specialists we choose (so long as they accept our insurance). He is affiliated with Calvert Memorial but I've seen specialists in St. Mary's and Charles Co. too - he doesn't push anyone on you." That seems like a great endorsement and worth researching further.
Dr. Cafferty is my Dr. :yay::yay:
Wait time can be long, but I take a nap.
 

atrusomder

Isaiah 55:8-9
Dr. Brooks with Calvert Family Practice 410.535.4488
In Calvert County, but worth the drive.....
I will advise that IMHO- Dr. Michelle Folsom and Dr. Heather Montgomery, CRNP are the best in the practice.
Both females, but again my opinion better than the male doctor.

Good Luck!
 

bcp

In My Opinion
Dont know how old you are, but after a certain age one of the biggest factors in choosing a good family doctor has to do with the size of his fingers.

the smaller the better.

or choose a female doctor.

or just take your chances with certain male issues.
 

hotcoffee

New Member
I have been reading reviews of him over at Dr. Stephen Cafferty - California, MD - 24 doctor reviews | RateMDs.com and the general theme seems to be that he's an excellent doctor but you'll need to wait and potentially deal with unprofessional staff. I care about the Dr's ability and I am very patient so I think I can get past long wait times and dealing with staff.
IMHO... Dr. Cafferty saved my life.... His staff is awesome... I've never had a problem... I don't mind waiting.... They have hgtv and the room is pretty...

:coffee:
 

molly_21

Member
IMHO... Dr. Cafferty saved my life.... His staff is awesome... I've never had a problem... I don't mind waiting.... They have hgtv and the room is pretty...

:coffee:
I like Dr. Cafferty also. But I do think he needs to hire another doctor or at least a nurse practitioner to take some of the burden off of him, esp. if you just want to see him for basic stuff like physical's (which I do and I do not see him the rest of the year as I am pretty healthy).

Last time I went I did not care for his staff he had. But all in all, like you stated, I do not mind waiting (to a point, 1 hr between waiting room and waiting in the back rooms is fine, but there have been times I have waited 2-3hrs. One time I had a 330pm appt and I did not get out of there until 730/745, which is totally unacceptable hence needing to hire another dr or NP).
 

pelers

Active Member
Finding a doctor is rough, and you'll go through some trial and error. What works for one person doesn't work for others. Lots of people here liked Dr. Cafferty, I saw him for a few appointments and very strongly disliked him. I felt that he didn't listen to patient concerns, just formed his own opinion instantly and went off of that regardless of what additional information you had. My husband went in to see him because he was having trouble breathing (when trying to exercise, do yard work, etc) which was making it really hard for him to exercise because he wanted to lose weight. Cafferty told him to exercise and lose weight and it would help the breathing. No matter how many times we said, "He's trying but he can't breathe" he wouldn't say anything other than "lose weight." It was frustrating. Plus his office staff was hugely unprofessional and the wait times were beyond horrendous.

I saw Dr. Sajja (Shah Associates) up at the Bean medical center for a year or two. I found him to be detached and uninterested. Very nice nurses, though!

If you're up for the drive, the Bauers (Karen and her father, Robert) (Shah Associates) up in Mechanicsville were very good. I saw them until I moved down to Lexington Park. Too much of a drive for me!

I'm currently seeing Dr. Gill (Shah Associates), he has offices in Leonardtown and the Bean medical center. So far I'm liking him. His nurses are great, he takes the time to read your chart before coming in and he takes the time to talk to you without making everything seem rushed. I'm also impressed with the wait times at his Leonardtown office. He doesn't seem to double and triple book like many other doctors around here do.
 

quattroginger

New Member
i am very interested as well. does there happen to be a good one in the Waldorf area maybe? my wife and I have been going to Dr. Leon's office. nice that they have walk in appt's but the wait is so long, then when you go to the back the wait starts all over again. 1 of 2 people in there last friday and i was stuck there for 2.5 hours before seeing doctor. crazy
 

crazykitty

New Member
I have been reading reviews of him over at Dr. Stephen Cafferty - California, MD - 24 doctor reviews | RateMDs.com and the general theme seems to be that he's an excellent doctor but you'll need to wait and potentially deal with unprofessional staff. I care about the Dr's ability and I am very patient so I think I can get past long wait times and dealing with staff.
Dr Cafferty is my doctor also. There are some very long wait times and I have had problems with his staff also especially when they were supposed to put in a refferral to a specialty doctor. At first, I really liked him but I think he is becoming a bit overwhelmed and at least needs to get a few nurses in there or another doctor as well.
 

mmesser0

C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS!
IMHO... Dr. Cafferty saved my life.... His staff is awesome... I've never had a problem... I don't mind waiting.... They have hgtv and the room is pretty...

:coffee:
:yeahthat:

He is my doctor as well as my husbands. He is excellent! The wait times do stink though. But, if you get an early appointment in the morning, you'll get right in and out. He likes to sit down and talk with you. He won't just rush in, ask what's wrong, and leave in 2 minutes. I definitely recommend him. I've never had a problem with the office staff. Then again, besides waiting for them to copy my prescription(s) so I can leave, I haven't had any reason to rely on them for anything.
 
Top