There are few more important choices you have to make for yourself or your family than that of selecting a medical provider. Doctors are human beings, just like you, and while they all should have roughly equivalent levels of medical education, that doesn’t mean they all provide the exact same type and level of care. You should feel empowered to do your research and even go in to try out a consultation or two with a doctor before committing to stick with that doctor as your ongoing provider. Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations and advice and check credentials online. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering this decision:
Personality and Attitude
When choosing your doctor, you need to consider not just their professional experience and credentials but who they are as a person. This is important for many different reasons. You need to feel comfortable with this person and confident in their opinion. The doctor is the person you go to for addressing worries you have and catch any health problems before they become worse. You want them to be effective at communicating with you and welcoming and encouraging of you and your concerns.
You will have to trust this doctor, and in a worst case scenario, you will have to make serious and long-lasting decisions with them based on their advice and expertise. That’s why it’s important that you have trust in the doctor’s expertise and that you think you can develop a strong rapport with him or her.
Caution and Transparency
Doctors aren’t perfect, and all sorts of medical decisions and diagnoses are often ambiguous and difficult by nature. No one case is the same, so it can be incredibly difficult sometimes to find out what is truly going on in a medical situation, especially with more complicated and uncommon medical conditions. Failure to adequately or accurately diagnose a condition is one of the more common causes of medical malpractice. For this reason, you want a doctor who is cautious and careful in their decisions and diagnoses. An effective and careful doctor in tricky situations is transparent and communicative about their thought processes and doubts. This will help you more confidently and assuredly arrive at the right diagnosis.
Medicine is a wide and complicated field, and it’s impossible for a single doctor to effectively cover all realms of medicine and possible diagnoses. That’s why general practitioners will refer you to a specialist for many conditions. Even within specialties, however, there is still an incredible range of variety in doctors and their specific experiences in that field. Whether you are picking a general care provider or a specialist for continued care for a condition of yours, you should talk to your potential doctors to see what sort of experience they have that might help them work with you. Different doctors work more often with certain age groups or demographics, whereas many specialists frequently work mostly with certain specific disorders or diagnoses. The doctor’s experience will shape the care they give, so you should consider what is likely to work best for you.