What's Up with Your Doc?
Ensuring your doctor is providing you with the kind of care you want and need is very important. Don't settle.
Cold and flu season is coming up fast and some of us will be visiting our doctor a lot more in the next couple of months. Believe it or not, you do have the power to choose who see in your weakest moments, and now may be a good time to think about if your current doctor should continue to have the privilege of caring for you.
Luckily, I love my primary care doctor, Dr. Ken Gibson at Partners In Health in Delmont. I’ve been seeing him since I was in my teens, and he continues to provide the kind of care I want.
Above anything else, I want someone to listen to me and not just hand over a prescription to cure what illness he/she thinks I have.
I once cheated on my doctor with another one who looked at my sore throat, read my negative step test result, and said “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ll give you some antibiotics. If they don’t work, come back, and I’ll give you something else for another thing this might be.”
No, no, no. Sorry. That’s not right for me. I made an appointment with my real doctor for the next day and didn’t speak of my affair the day before. I felt icky.
Some things I require in a doctor—and that I’m thankful my doctor has—include:
- A personality: I can joke with the guy and have a good time even when I don’t feel well. The man has the Batman theme song as his ringtone on his phone for crying out loud. How cool is that?
- An appreciation for my opinion and what I tell him: I’ve never felt brushed off or ignored by my doctor. Also, as an expert in bladder infections, when I call and tell him I have one, he’s quick to prescribe something and then follow up with me later on to make sure I’ve been cured.
- Courtesy: I’m never rushed out of the exam room and he never leaves without asking if there’s anything else I need from him.
- Smarts: The man knows his stuff. I’ve asked him all kinds of health questions about myself, my husband and my son, and he has the knowledge to answer them 99 percent of the time. If he doesn’t know, he excuses himself and comes back or calls with an answer.
- He doesn’t prescribe something automatically: You don’t need medicine for everything, and my doctor isn’t quick on the draw of that prescription pad to get me out of his office.
- I’ve recommended him: I feel comfortable enough with my doctor to send, basically, everyone I know to him.
A year-long study done by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona determined that there are seven traits most patients seek in a doctor: confidence, empathy, caring, personal, forthright, respectful and thorough.
Your list may be different than mine and the Mayo Clinic’s. Maybe you want a doctor with brown hair, someone who speaks Greek or someone who gives lollipops if you’re good. Whatever you need, make sure you get it.
WebMD suggests asking friends, searching the internet for good (and bad) things about potential doctors, and calling or making an appointment to “interview” doctors.
Choosing a doctor isn’t something you should take lightly, and you definitely shouldn’t stick with the doctor you have if they’re not providing the kind of care you need—even if it is the easiest thing to do.
Use the resources here at Plum-Oakmont Patch to start your search and don’t forget to check out the ratings and comments that may be available. Is your local doctor great? Tell others with a rating and comment.