I found my vet by accident. I had been going to a local vet, Dr. Connie, in town for years, who was in a practice that employed several vets. For some reason, she wasn't available one day to see Spooky, so I just saw whoever was available at the time. It turned out to be Dr. Sue, who has been my vet ever since. We seemed to hit it off immediately. Dr. Connie was very much into horses and dogs, but she seemed knowledgeable about cats, and was nice. Dr. Sue and I just 'clicked.' She knows my human medical background and is able to talk to me as an equal. She allows me (even encourages me) to be extremely proactive in my treatment of my kittie's renal failure. At one time, she was thinking of moving her practice across the state. I was completely willing to follow her to continue having her be my vet. Thank goodness she decided to stay here! Sometimes you just get lucky, like I did! I recommend my vet to anyone who needs a vet.
You can ask opinions at work, church or school. Sometimes, just doing what you are doing....call and ask to see the facility and talk to the vet, before you actually need them, will help you weed out the ones that you feel have no potential. Ask to see the exam rooms, the kennels, the cages where the cats recuperate after surgery, the back room where procedures are done. Check for cleanliness, overcrowding in kennels and cages. Talk to the desk (secretarial) staff, the technicians and the vet(s). Ask if they are staffed around the clock, or if they recommend a particular E.R. vet. Ask for references...any place worth their salt will give you some. Good luck!