9 Traits to Consider When Looking For a New Doctor

A male doctor examining a male patient.
Choose the health content that's right for you, and get it delivered right in your inbox

Whether you've recently moved, need a new physician or require a specialist, selecting a new doctor is one of the most important health decisions you'll make.

We asked members of our medical team what traits to look for when choosing a new physician, be it primary care or a specialist. Here are some things to consider as you search for a provider who is the right match for you.

Cleanliness and Safety

Choosing a provider who is passionate about the cleanliness of their office and the safety of their staff and patients is critical, especially right now.  At all AdventHealth facilities, we're employing safety measures and protocols to protect you during your visits including:

  • Universal mask use for all staff, patients and visitors
  • Temperature checks for everyone coming into our facilities
  • Social distancing in all areas of our buildings
  • Separate waiting and treatment areas for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Enhanced sanitation measures to keep our offices clean and safe at all times.

Ask about protective measures at your doctor's office when you book your next appointment.

Spends Time with You During Your Visit

Whether you schedule an appointment for a video visit or are visiting the office in-person, you'll want to search for a provider who is willing to spend time with their patients. 

When it comes to addressing your health concerns, faster isn't always better.

It takes time to listen, diagnose and prescribe the best treatment for a patient. Your doctor may ask lots of questions and spend additional time with you to ensure they have a strong understanding of your situation and are prescribing the best treatment available.

Stays Up-to-Date with Research and Health Trends

A good doctor stays informed of the latest breakthroughs in the field and shares the knowledge with patients in language you can understand.

Ask questions during your visit about treatments or medications, and be sure to speak up if you don't understand the answer.  Your doctor should help guide you through your health care decisions and empower you with information during your appointment.

Listens to Your Concerns without Judgement

You should be able to talk about sensitive topics that affect your health, from weight gain to sexual health issues, without feeling judged.

Sometimes these topics can be uncomfortable, and your provider should make you feel like you can come to them with questions or issues. If you feel you're being criticized for your lifestyle choices or your concerns are being dismissed, look for someone else.

Easy to Contact

Look for a provider with office hours that work with your schedule and who has a staff team to help manage their patients.  A friendly front-office staff means your phone calls will be returned promptly and that you can easily schedule or cancel an appointment.

Depending on your needs, you may also want to look for a doctor who offers virtual care or online doctor's appointments. 

Respects Your Time

When you make an appointment, you shouldn't have to wait a long time to be seen. There's always going to be some wait or times when an unforeseen emergency will arise, but your doctor shouldn't be constantly late or rush through appointments. Also, you should have enough time to ask questions so you understand your condition and care.

Sincere and Empathetic 

Everyone wants a doctor who genuinely cares so you and your family can share questions or concerns openly. Your doctor's bedside manner should make you feel comfortable during appointments.

Active Listener

You want someone who actively listens, attempts to understand you and how your condition affects you, and provides information in terms you can understand. Before you leave the exam room, your doctor should ask if you understood what was discussed and if not, clarifies the information.

Trust and Comfort

These may be the two most important traits you'll want in a doctor. You want someone you feel comfortable with and can trust with your personal health care questions and issues.

Find a Provider

Knowing the qualities of a good doctor can help ensure that you and your family get the care you need without unnecessary worries. Visit our website to find a trusted primary care doctor near you.

Recent Blogs

A bariatric doctor talking to his female patient.
Bariatric Concerns in a COVID-19 World
A children's football game
Staying Safe Playing Sports During the Pandemic
Coronavirus Vaccines: EUA to FDA Approval
A group of men resting on the sidelines during a game of basketball.
What to Expect at a Prostate Screening (It’s Not as Bad as You Think)
Long-Term Implications: COVID-19 Linked to Cognitive Decline
View More Articles