Whether you've recently moved or need a new physician, selecting a new doctor is one of the most important health decisions you'll make.
“Knowing the qualities of a good doctor is extremely important when choosing the right primary care provider,” said Phil Gray, MD, of AdventHealth Medical Group Family and Internal Medicine at Timms Road. “It can help ensure that you and your family get the care you need without unnecessary worries. My goal as a primary care physician is to treat others the way I would want to be treated.”
We asked members of our medical team what traits to look for when choosing a new physician. Here are what traits they look for:
1. Takes time
Faster isn't always better. It takes time to listen, diagnose and prescribe the best treatment for a patient. A good doctor will ask a few more questions than needed and spend longer time with patients. During the first minutes of the visit, he or she may have an idea of what's wrong, but until you dig deeper and get a real understanding of the situation, you can't treat a patient to the best of your ability.
You want your doctor to be well-rested and alert. Sleep deprivation isn't a badge of honor. If he or she is constantly yawning, that could be a sign that you may want to look elsewhere.
3. Up-to-date on the latest research
A good doctor stays informed of the latest breakthroughs in the field and shares the knowledge with patients in language you can understand.
4. Doesn't judge or dismiss your concerns
You should be able to talk about sensitive topics that affect your health, from weight gain to sexual health issues, without feeling judged. If you feel you're being criticized for your lifestyle choices or your concerns are being dismissed, look for someone else.
5. Easy to reach
You should be aware of your doctor's office hours and how you can reach him or her in the case of an emergency. Phone calls should be returned promptly, and it should be easy to make appointments or cancellations.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Actively listens
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.
9. 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.
“Seeing a primary care provider regularly is necessary to maintain your health,” said Dr. Gray. “Make sure you find the right doctor for you and your family.”
If you are in need of a primary care provider, Dr. Gray is accepting patients. To schedule an appointment, please call AdventHealth Medical Group Family and Internal Medicine at Timms Road at Call706-625-0022 or visit AdventHealthGordon.com/primarycare to see the AdventHealth network of primary care providers.