I’ve had some truly terrible experiences with doctors and doctors’ offices. sometimes it still takes me a while to trust a doctor, just because of the ways I’ve been taken advantage of, denied certain things without explanation, talked into tests I didn’t want done, or been brushed off and not taken seriously in the past by doctors.
it’s taken a while, but I finally know what to look for, and what are warning signs when it comes to choosing a doctor. I’m happy that I have a GREAT doctor where I live (and an awesome OBGYN a couple of hours away), but it was a long time coming!
here are 5 characteristics of a good doctor:
(original photo from CNN.com)
1.) they have good bedside manner
your doctor shouldn’t be grumpy or irritated. she shouldn’t be taking out her day’s frustration on you. she should make eye contact, be friendly, and communicate well. great humor is just a bonus! 🙂 this may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed how many doctors I’ve seen that fail to exhibit this first important characteristic.
2.) they listen to you
they don’t assume that their degree means they know everything there is to know about your unique body. they listen to your questions, comments, and your story of why you’re there. they ask questions when they don’t understand. how you feel (both physically and emotionally) is actually important to them.
3.) they make sure you are well-informed
you know why they are doing what they are doing. you know why they’re recommending you this drug or this specialist, AND what that drug or specialist will do for you. they don’t hold back any explanation from you. they want you to know the how’s and why’s of what’s happening in your body and what they’re doing to remedy it. they make sure you are a well-informed patient.
4.) they don’t withhold or force
they don’t force any tests on you that you don’t want or believe to be necessary or can’t afford. they don’t withhold information, medical history (yep, that’s happened), or anything that would help to make you better informed as a patient. essentially, they don’t bully you into anything you are uncomfortable with.
5.) they work well with YOU
everyone is different, and the doctor I love might just not click as well with you. trust your gut; if something feels off, try a different doctor. if it feels right, stick around. if you feel heard and valued as a person, and what they’re doing and recommending is working for you, then you have found your great doctor. 🙂
have you found a doctor who is perfect for you? 🙂 if you haven’t, I hope this helps! Good luck on your journey to be healthy… and happy while doing it!