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How to Choose a Physician


by John Walsh, MD
President, South Shore Hospital Medical Staff

Choosing a physician that you respect and trust is one of the most important decisions you will make. You will want to assure that your physician is dedicated to, and skilled in, providing care to you and your family. It is also important that he or she is affiliated with a top-notch hospital, in the event you need emergency, rehabilitative or home health care.

It has been my pleasure to work with the physicians listed on this website directory.
Nearly all of them are board-certified in their specialties. They bring a level of expertise to the region that is not usually available in community hospitals.

What's more, many of these physicians are your neighbors. They live in the communities they serve and are committed to meeting the area's growing medical needs.

This combination of medical expertise and compassionate care is a top reason why my colleagues and I choose to practice at South Shore Hospital.

It is also the reason why you may choose a physician on South Shore Hospital's medical staff with confidence.

Physician Referral Service

To choose a physician who is right for you, use our website to search for a physician, or call South Shore Hospital's physician referral service at 781-624-MORE (6673). This free hotline puts you in touch with South Shore Hospital's concierge, who can provide you with names of hospital medical staff members who are accepting new patients.

Depending on your health needs, you may first want to select a primary care physician. He or she will assess your total health and can refer you, as needed, to other specialists. Most of the specialists and subspecialists described in the Medical Staff Listing by Specialty require a primary care physician referral before seeing patients.

Choosing a doctor is an important decision. You may want to ask neighbors, friends, people you work with and relatives for physician recommendations. When arranging your first appointment, you will want to ask:

  • Where did the physician attend medical school? Where did the physician perform his or her residency? Is he or she board-certified?
  • To which hospitals may she or he admit patients?
  • How receptive is the office to urgent requests for appointments? Is there a covering physician? Does the office keep weekend or urgent-care hours?
  • How personable is the physician? How much time does he or she spend with patients
    on average?
  • How much does the physician charge for an office visit? Complete physical? What types of insurances are accepted? Is any special paperwork needed to process claims?
  • If choosing a medical specialist for a particular treatment, what has been the physician's success rate in treating that particular health concern?

Do not hesitate to ask questions. Write them down beforehand if necessary. Getting the right information up front will make for a mutually beneficial doctor/patient relationship.

If you have concerns about your physician or the care provided to you at South Shore Hospital, please contact the Patient Relations office at 781-624-8888 or advocacy@sshosp.org. Your concerns will be addressed in a timely manner by the appropriate department.


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