Step-by-Step Guide for Choosing a Family Doctor

Step-by-Step Guide for Choosing a Family Doctor

Entrusting your family’s health to a family physician is one of the most important decisions you can make.  Choosing a family doctor requires extensive research and care.  Making the wrong decision can be damaging to the health and welfare of your family, so take your time and follow these suggestions to make the process easier.

·     Search when you are still healthy.

People who are ill often do not have enough strength to assess a doctor’s skill. Therefore, it is a wise idea to search for a doctor when you feel great and healthy. Searching for a family doctor while you are still healthy will give both parties the opportunity to know each other, interact, converse, and develop a relationship. At your first visit, Since the doctor will collect information about you and your family’s health history at the initial visit, he will have the right information to treat you if you get sick later.

·     Ask friends for recommendations

Another good way of choosing the right doctor for your family is by asking your friends and colleagues for recommendations. If any of your friends have a family doctor that performs well, he or she can easily introduce the doctor to you.

·     Ask a doctor

If you have a doctor as a friend or relative, ask him to recommend a colleague he considers to be more competent in handling your family.

Features to look for in a Doctor

1.    Ability to listen

A good family doctor must actively listen to all the patients’ concerns.

2.    Ability to talk

A good family doctor must be able to explain medical terms and treatments in plain, unambiguous, and easy-to-understand language.

3.    Availability

Your family doctor must be ready and willing to see you when you are not feeling your best. He should have office hours that work for you and your family.

4.    Individual approach

A good family doctor should establish a personal relationship with you so he can make appropriate recommendations for you based on your personal situation. By knowing about your individual workload, eating habits, activity level, hobbies, and challenges, he can help you to get and stay healthy.

5.    Optimism

Your family doctor also has to show signs of confidence and optimism. The great Botkin once wrote that “the best doctors are those who can suggest hope to a patient because, in many cases, this is the most effective drug”. Similarly, Jonathan Swift said, “the best doctors in the world are doctor Rest, doctor Diet, and doctor Cheery”.

Preparing for a Visit

After you have decided on a few doctors to consider, the next is to schedule a visit to their offices. Before you go,  be prepared with a list of your current medications, family and personal medical history, and any questions you have Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor about anything you don’t understand.

Carefully listen to the manner at which he responds to your questions. The goal is not to get the exact response or prescription you got when you were sick but to assess the way he analyzes the problem and give solutions to them.

More so, it is important to let your doctor know your expectations, to establish a relationship that works for you and your family.


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