When it is your health that is on the line, you want to make sure that you have the best physician for you and your family. Finding a good physician goes beyond finding a doctor that has all of the practical skills and studied at a good school, it is about finding a physician that you trust and can confide in.
This requires a great amount of people skills, a person who understands your history and your needs, and someone you and your family can get along with. Like with any profession, there are good physicians and bad physicians out there. Here are a few red flags to look out for when looking for a new physician:
1. They only ask yes-or-no questions
While a few questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no” are important, they should not take up the entire health questionnaire. You also need questions that go deeper and require more information from the patient to give the physician a more well-rounded view of their health profile. Another problem with yes-or-no question is that they do not really home home in on a medical issue and do not narrow the issues down. Not knowing what a problem is could cause it to worsen and makes treatment impossible.
2. They may be unhealthy themselves
This is not to say that a doctor with a few health problems of their own is unfit for medical practice, but a doctor that does not “practice what they preach” so to speak, that could be a problem. A doctor who is overweight and is particularly critical about the weight of his or her patients, for instance, could lead to patients not taking their advice seriously or they might be perceived to not take their own advice seriously.
3. Unprofessional behavior
Every profession requires professional behavior, that is a fundamental truth. If you are seeing a physician who is dismissive of your concerns and will not take your opinion into consideration; will not maintain eye contact or is constantly looking at their computer, phone or clipboard; or a physician who keeps appointments as short as possible, you may want to find another physician.
If you feel like you are not being heard by your physician, you should find a doctor who you are either more comfortable in speaking with or who listens and understand your issues more clearly. If you are in need of a medical assistance before settling on a physician, you may want to visit a nearby walk-in clinic for immediate treatment.
4. There is poor communication between the two of you
This issue could stem from unprofessional behavior, such as a doctor who keeps you in the dark about medical information that you need to know or a physician who interrupts his or her patient constantly. Even if a physician has a great professional behavior, sometimes there is a lack of meaningful communication between the doctor and his or her patient.
It should feel like the two of you are actually listening to one another and weighing each other’s ideas. You should never be in a position where you are afraid to speak up because of a doctor’s dismissiveness or lack of understanding.
Choosing the correct physician for you and your family is essential to maintaining good health in the household, so make sure you watch out for some of these red flags.