What Makes A Good Doctor?…
Due to the sheer prestige carried by the title of “doctor”, most people don’t pay much thought to how competent their family physician is. Although they don’t let anyone waltz in and start practicing as a doctor, they’re people just like you and me, and there’s a wide range of skillsets in the medical sector. If you’re in the market for a new physician, here are some tell-tale signs of a great doctor.
A Caring and Sincere Attitude
Bedside manner doesn’t make a competent doctor, but it’s still very important to find a doctor who you can trust and feel comfortable with. In the case of pediatricians, this is especially important. On the surface, a caring, sincere attitude may not seem all that important in terms of the actual work a doctor has to do. However, a doctor who genuinely cares about the wellbeing of their patients is much more likely to dig deeper into symptoms, and carry on investigating if they find a treatment isn’t working as well as it should be. A caring and attentive manner can also take a lot of the stress out of challenging times, like when you’re giving birth or someone in your family develops a chronic illness.
A Great Reputation
Just like any other professional, your physician should come highly recommended, and not just by one of your close friends. Most people tend to choose their family doctors based on word-of-mouth referrals. This is fine, but make sure you consult a wide range of sources to give yourself greater choice, and a way to compare different physicians. After digging a little deeper, you may find some worrying marks in a doctor’s past, like a charge for medical malpractice or ethical misconduct. If you’re reading this because you’ve recently moved to a new area, make a point of asking almost everyone you meet for the name of their doctor. It may be worth calling your family doctor from your last area as well; you never know who they might have in their professional network. You’ll also be able to find recommendations and reviews online, but as with anything on the internet, take it with a pinch of salt. Don’t make a decision based on a couple of reviews, but pay attention if you find a doctor’s feedback has been consistently good or bad.
Respect for your Time
When you’re weighing up different practices in the area, you should also find out roughly how long patients have to wait when they come in for an appointment. Bear in mind that finding a family physician who respects your time doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll never have to hang around in a waiting room. In fact, long waiting times often mean that a doctor has greater respect for their patients than the average. If an elderly person’s experiencing sudden abdominal pains, or a teenager’s been self-harming, the doctor should spend all the time it takes to do what needs to be done, rather than watching the clock and making sure their other patients aren’t being kept waiting.