Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Know You Have Found Yourself a Good Doctor

This morning, I am off to teach 160 medical students who are graduating and beginning their residency. These are the days I live for!! I created another Top 10 List for them...

1. A good doctor will make you feel like you have a partner in your efforts to get well.

2. A good doctor will care about your whole life, not just your physical problems.

3. A good doctor knows that practicing medicine is about relationships so they will look you in the eye and communicate in a compassionate but concise manner.

4. A good doctor will be your advocate within our complicated system and use his/her position to improve your quality of life.

5. A good doctor will listen to your story like a detective, picking up illness clues as you go along, so that they may solve your illness mystery. And they will do this even when they are in a hurry.

6. A good doctor will be skillful, brave and meticulous while somehow managing to stay humble.

7. A good doctor knows when to think outside the box or bend the rules for the good of the patient/family.

8. A good doctor understands that, sometimes, holding a patient’s hand through difficult times is just as important as prescribing the proper dosage of medication.

9. A good doctor discovers that in order to be an extraordinary caregiver, they must learn how to take good care of themselves first.

10. A good doctor understands that, in their practice, they walk a line between science and mystery every day.


Midlife Midwife said...

Oh I so want to be one of those "Good" ones.

Connie said...

This is one of the best descriptions I've read. I am blessed to have a few really good doctors. I'm at the point in my life where I pick them and I'll keep them no matter what! The bad ones get thrown to the curb.

Bethany said...

This is really good! When I find a doctor like this I know I have a rare treasure, one I fully trust with my life. There are probably five doctors on my short list of doctors I have been treated by that I trust completely and fully in this way. I have "caught" too many mistakes, errors, and omissions to trust easily. Other traits that I appreciate in a doctor are a willingness to admit when they do not have an answer and seek others who have the expertise necessary to figure it out. I also appreciate a doctor who is fully present - when they are in the room with me I know they are fully there and not concerned about making rounds after lunch or the argument they had with their child that morning. And it helps if they can appreciate the fact that I have developed a wicked, somewhat dark sense of humor as a result of growing up in a medical world.