Physicians, while reliable to care for patients, are also people — they get tired, fatigued, and burned out. A medical license is no good if the doctor isn’t at peak condition to perform. As a patient, you should exercise your choice to find a more suitable one, because it’s your own health that is at stake after all.
If you don’t want to end up getting misdiagnosed — like that one patient who was featured in the New York Times for being judged to have a pinched nerve instead of a cancerous tumor — then look for these signs to see whether your doctor is fit to handle your hospitalization.
Options – Yes, doctors know what’s right for you, but that doesn’t mean they also get to choose for you. A credible doctor presents options, makes a recommendation, and gives an explanation for it. Steer clear from medical practitioners who don’t entertain questions or seems to force a single procedure or medication on you.
Communication – A serious physician coordinates with the staff. This is especially important if you’re being treated for a major condition. Your doctor should also be updated with your health. So if you were asked about what treatments or procedure have been on you, it’s an indicator that your doctor hasn’t scanned your file.
Attention – Is your doctor’s mind elsewhere? Keep an eye on body language, such as facing you, frequently switching between you and the paper while your information is being written, and preserving eye contact. Even if your consultation only lasts a few minutes, your physician shouldn’t make you feel rushed. A good doctor also reviews the file of the patient before the appointment.
Throwing your doctor out the window isn’t particularly easy. Getting one to refer you to another — probably someone who is more specialized with your problems — seems less awkward. If you’re seeking one on your own, it’s best to ask family and friends if they have a doctor that they’re regularly seeing. Otherwise, do background checks on new ones you’re eyeing.