Tips for Choosing a Great Doctor

Sometimes people forget that they are paying for their medical treatment. I’m not saying they think treatment is free, and they ignore their bills, I’m saying they take second class treatment at the doctor’s office as a fact of life.

If you are paying for a service, such as landscaping or cleaning, you expect the company to provide the quality service you are paying for. Why shouldn’t you expect the same from your doctor?

Ask Around

If a friend or family member has stumbled upon a great doctor, chances are they will be more than willing to tell you all about him or her. When asking if they know of a good doctor, also ask if they have run into any bad ones so you know whom to avoid.
How Many Patients?

When thinking of a potential physician, don’t be afraid to call the receptionist to ask some questions. One of your first questions should be about how busy the practice is on a day-to-day basis. No matter how good a doctor is you won’t be able to see him or her if they are so busy you can’t secure an appointment when you need one.

Education

You obviously must insist your physician is an actually doctor with a degree in medicine. You should find out, however, how he or she keeps up to date with the latest treatments, newly found ailments, and new medications.

Waiting Is Hard To Do

I can’t say I’ve ever visited a doctor’s office without having to wait before seeing the doctor. What you have to ask yourself is: “How long is too long?” You can expect to wait some, but you don’t want a doctor who unrealistically crams in appointments each day to see as many people as possible. Along with not wanting a long wait for each appointment, you want to know that you can get a last minute appointment if you need one in the case of an emergency.

Seriously?

Once you’ve chosen someone you’d like to see, it’s time for your first appointment. This appointment should not only be about your health, but should also be to decide if you want to have an ongoing relationship with this particular doctor. One of the most important things you want to look for is your doctor’s demeanor. Are they taking you seriously? Do they ask you questions, but then cut you off mid sentence?

Vacation

This may be especially important when choosing an OBGYN, but it should matter with any doctor. Everyone needs time off, and doctors work hard. You need to know that you will be cared for if your doctor is not available. Many doctors have someone else you can see or call when they are away.

Getting What You Pay For

If your doctor barely listens to you, seems distracted, and seems to be pushing you out of the office, it’s time to move on. A great doctor will take time to explain what they are prescribing, what your condition is, or what they want you to do next in full detail. They should also give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. If he or she seems to have a low tolerance for your questions, find another doctor.

Final Thoughts

We often hold doctors in high regard, as we should, but we forget that we are buying a service. If your needs are not being met, you are free to see someone else.

When it comes to our bodies and our health, we are often scared, confused, and need guidance and the steady hand of a good doctor. This is especially true when faced with a serious illness. Be sure to find one that values you as a person, rather than one that treats you like a case file.

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