happy female doctor standing in front of chat bubbles and balloon

A "Good Doctor" To Me

I had the pleasure of attending yet another Patient Advisory Board meeting. I love doing these types of things. I loving being able to share my opinion and serve as a voice for my community. Good doctor vs. bad doctor seemed to be a particularly hot topic this weekend.

Changing doctors is sometimes necessary

Whenever I speak of my physician with other patients, there's always a few who seem to be in awe of our relationship. Even on my blog and social media, I get comments on this topic. I find it so odd because although patients don't seem to think they have a "good doctor," they continue to see them anyway. Why is this? Why aren't patients staying with physicians they seem to have no faith in? I'm aware that not every patient has the ability to just change their physician at the drop of a dime. But I also realize that while it's not the most comfortable thing to do, at times it can be necessary.

What comes to mind when you hear "good doctor"?

When you hear the words "good doctor," what comes to mind? What is the true definition of a "good doctor?" One woman mentioned that her current GI will text her to check up on her. Not the only reason, but that was one of many of why she considered her physician a "good doctor." Healthcare is so individualized, not all patients are going to have the same outlook on what makes a good physician.

Why I like my doctor

Personally, I think my gastroenterologist is great for many reasons.

  1. He is solution oriented: Rather than dwelling on the problem, he looks for solutions. I know I can count on my doctor to find the answer, whether he knows it or not.
  2. He puts the patient first: This is not only for him but for his entire office. They do everything they can to ensure the patient is comfortable. From comfortable wait times to clean rooms and bedding.
  3. His approach: This is a topic I can expand on for days! I love that my doctor treats me like a human instead of a number. I like having a physician that can hold a conversation with me without staring at a screen or fiddling with a clipboard.
  4. His open-mindedness: Feeling like I can introduce my questions and concerns into a conversation with my physician has always been very important to me. I like having a doctor that is open to not only my questions but my suggestions regarding my care as well.

The important things

While things like texting and gifts would be nice, it's not why I see my doctor. Personally, I'd prefer my doctor to be more of an expert rather than a friend. We look to doctors for understanding, diagnosis, and proper treatment. So maybe your doctor isn't a texter, maybe your doctor doesn't bring balloons to every appointment. That doesn't make them a "bad doctor." To me, a bad doctor is one that isn't able to perform their job to the best of their ability. While extras can be enjoyable, the extra things we may be looking for may not be in your doctor's best interest and that's okay. If they're truly investing their time and resources into helping you live a better, more healthy lifestyle, I'd say that's a little more important, wouldn't you?

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