8 Qualities to Look for in a Doctor
posted by The Live Better Team | June 27, 2016
If you’re like many people, the need to find a new doctor might be a surprise. A revelation by Prevention.com is even more surprising. While more than 90 percent of adults polled said making the right physician choice is important, nearly 50 percent believed they’d made wrong choices.
Tempted to seek convenience, you might only look for things like these instead of asking probing questions:
Office close to home or work
Quick appointment access
An unfriendly or dismissive doctor means it’s time for a change. Reuters says a doctor has no second chance for making a positive first impression when meeting a patient. Impressions are created in mere seconds and often determine the doctor-patient relationship, one study found.
This project, led by Northwestern University researchers, looked at patient expectations and preferences on first meetings with physicians. Almost 80 percent of patients wanted the doctor to shake their hands. Clearly, friendliness is in.
ABC News says the average doctor spends 17 minutes with a patient. A physician should remain with you until all your questions are answered, whether clinical or administrative. Your responsibility is speaking up and asking questions like, “You mentioned the possibility of developing X. What’s the probability of that?”
Doctors need good communications skills. This includes the ability to listen. You should leave the office knowing:
Self-care steps necessary
Any medications ordered
Any preventive measures available
You’re in control of your care
How the practice uses electronic tools to manage your care
Doctors are bombarded by privacy laws, regulatory changes and automation. Expect the right doctor to connect the dots between an electronic record and you in the flesh.
Scientist and writer Isaac Asimov, referring to computer use, said, “You’d be surprised to know the number of doctors who claim they are treating pregnant men.”
Do you prefer a holistic approach to health that focuses on diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes before using medication? Instead, you might favor one that includes asking detailed questions at each appointment and ordering tests for all possible diagnoses.
Finding the right doctor means gauging whether the physician’s preferred approach matches your own, Everyday Health stresses. When a healthcare professional shares what he or she would personally do in your situation, it’s easy to determine if your approaches match.
You don’t need a physician who orders too many tests and medications. Help determine excessive practices by asking the doctor or the staff the purpose of each one.
Using terms like laparoscopic, robot or duplex ultrasound suggests a current knowledge of technology. Mid-career doctors should have a balance of work experience and clinical knowledge. General practitioners should be willing to refer you to specialists.
You’ll want to visit an office to check cleanliness, parking or handicapped accessibility and how the staff relates to patients. However, you can ask these questions mentioned by ConsumerReports over the phone:
At which hospitals does the doctor have privileges?
What is the policy about drug reps?
Is the physician a “go-go” doctor who can refer you to a range of specialists if needed?
Is the doctor part of a network?
Does the practice use a patient portal?
Who covers if you have a problem and your doctor is away?
When you ask the right questions, you deserve the right answers. Contact Revere Health today to learn more about patient-centered services and finding the right physician to help you control your health care.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.