To ensure you are healthy, or especially in case you are chronically ill, regular visits to the right doctor are a must. But how to know a doctor is right for you? A doctor’s qualifications are not the only indicators of them being good; there are other things to consider too. Their behavior, listening capacity, the quality of healthcare they provide, etc., are important things to consider.
However, some things also depend on where you live. For example, if you live in Atlanta, Georgia, then you can stop worrying about the standard of healthcare that is provided since Atlanta has higher healthcare standards as it is home to the CDC, and there are numerous clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. But some other subjective things vary from person to person that makes up the right doctor. Here are four signs to look for that will ensure that a doctor is right for you.
They Involve You In Decisions:
A doctor is right for you if they involve you in decision-making regarding your treatment. Every patient and their problems are vastly different from each other. There is not a single approach that can be applied to every patient’s treatment, even if the diagnosis is the same. It’s extremely important that doctors listen to what their patients want, prefer, dislike, etc., when it comes to treatment. Functional medicine is a good example of this.
Functional medicine doctors take a holistic approach and provide personalized treatments to their patients that are per their needs. You can search for good functional medicine doctors in your area. For example, if you live in Atlanta, then you can find an expert functional medicine doctor in Atlanta at Elite Personalized Medicine.
A doctor should always give importance to your opinions when it comes to decision-making. But if that is not the case with your doctor, then they are certainly not right for you.
They Practice Empathetic Communication:
Strong and empathetic communication is the basis of a good doctor-patient relationship. The profession of medicine is heavily reliant on good communication. If a doctor doesn’t empathize with their patient and effectively communicates with them, then how can a patient build a trusting relationship with that doctor? As a patient, you don’t know whether the doctor you are visiting has extra qualifications, certifications, etc. All you will know after the first visit is how they communicated with you, made you feel seen and heard, and empathized with you.
Of course, you, as a patient, seek a competent doctor, but you should also consider if they have excellent communication skills and see you as a person and not just a number. When doctors are effective communicators, it increases the patient’s loyalty and satisfaction. An online survey shows that 39% of patients said that their doctors don’t have effective communication skills.
Verbal and non-verbal cues like tone, active listening, asking follow-up questions, etc., all indicate whether a doctor has effective communication skills or not.
- You Get To Tell Your Story:
When you go to a doctor, you can tell within a few minutes of your appointment if that doctor is right for you or not, simply if you get to finish your sentences. As absurd as it sounds, it’s an accurate indicator of a good doctor. When you go to a doctor, they must let you speak and tell your story. You should be able to pour your heart out to the doctor. From how and which symptoms you started experiencing, to what you thought was the diagnosis and what medical care you have received till now, to how you are feeling right now, a doctor must listen to each and everything you have to say.
A doctor must know your complete medical history so that they can avoid misdiagnosis and mistreatment. This point is worth mentioning here because physicians are not known for their good listening skills. According to a study, patients only get to speak for 11 seconds when talking about their reason behind visiting the physician before their physicians interrupt them. Imagine only having 11 seconds to explain what’s going on inside your mind and body for days that kept you stressed out, and you wanted to see a doctor and then waiting for so long outside the doctor’s office only to not even let the doctor finish your sentences.
A good doctor knows that there might be a minor detail in your whole story that you might have missed since you are not the doctor, but it can be significant in pointing you in the right direction. That’s why you should never be rushed when you are talking to your doctor.
They Explain Things To You In Simple Words:
We surely need to know what is going on regarding our health, so we can take better care of ourselves. That’s why it’s important to observe whether you understand what your doctor is telling you. A good doctor knows that not everyone is familiar with medical jargon, and that’s why they need to explain things to their patients in simple terminology so that they get as much detailed idea of their condition as possible.
A doctor who doesn’t explain things thoroughly to you and only focuses on writing a prescription and moving on to the next patient is not the right doctor for you. No matter how good and effective their prescription might be, they still need to make sure that you understand your symptoms, the diagnosis, what the medicines will help with, what can you expect to change after taking the recommended medication, what is a common and harmless side-effect that you should not worry about, etc. When a doctor explains things in detail and easy-to-understand language, patients might suddenly remember a detail they missed, mention something relevant that they didn’t think was worth mentioning before, ask some new questions they have in mind that might be highly relevant, etc.
When it comes to your health, you cannot compromise on anything, whether it’s food, exercise, lifestyle, or especially your doctor. If you go to a doctor who is not right for you, that can negatively impact your health. A good doctor is the one whom you feel comfortable with, who actively listens to you, and who openly communicates.