All family doctors are different and it can be hard to know which ones have the right qualities to make them the most effective doctor for you. The Medical Station wants to help you find the right family doctor by pointing out some qualities to look for in your physician that you may not have thought of.
Takes You and Your Concerns Seriously
A study in England from 2009 found that the thing most strongly related to confidence in a doctor is that the doctor takes the patient seriously. This includes treating their patients with respect and not belittling them or their concerns. Your family doctor should not discount information you present to them, such as symptoms you experienced at home, and instead should ask questions in order to fully understand your concerns. If you feel as though you are not being taken seriously, you should consider discussing this with your doctor and explain how you would feel most supported.
Makes You Feel Comfortable
While people may think that being comfortable around your doctor is a luxury, it is actually a very important component of the doctor-patient relationship. This is because your doctor will need to know intimate details about your life and body, which may make you feel embarrassed to discuss. However, in order to make the most informed medical decisions, your physician will need to know all the dirty details and they should encourage you to share. You should also feel comfortable asking whatever questions you want. When it comes to your health, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Your doctor should not make you feel rushed or judged after asking a question and instead provide a professional and insightful answer.
Asks Lots of Questions
While you might think it is the responsibility of the patient to ask a lot of questions, it is very important that your family doctor asks you questions as well. It is very hard for doctors to do their job well when they only have half of the information. For example, when diagnosing a disease, a physician should ask questions to get a full grasp of the symptoms that you may not have disclosed as you thought they were irrelevant. The doctor should also ask questions in order to clarify the patient’s concerns so they can gain a greater understanding and give the most accurate, reliable medical advice.
Knows Their Limits
While family doctors are very knowledgeable, they should also be humble in understanding that they are not an expert on everything in medicine. Instead of giving advice they are unsure about, a good family doctor should be willing to point you in the direction of someone who is more knowledgeable about that certain topic. This likely means referring you to a specialist or another medical professional.
Keeps Up with the Times
The medical field is always changing and improving, and your family doctor should be changing with it. New information and therapies are always becoming available and it is up to your physician to bring them up with you if they are related to your health. If you hear about something new in the medical world that you believe would benefit you, you should discuss it with your doctor. A good doctor will discuss what they know and even be willing to do research into it if they are unsure.
If you are looking for a family doctor that meets all of this criteria, look no further than The Medical Station. The Medical Station has an incredible team of family doctors and we are currently accepting new patients. Call us at 416-633-2345 if you would like to book an appointment to meet with one of our physicians.
This article was written by Hailey Adler, one of our Summer Administrative Interns. Hailey received a BSc. from the University of Guelph and is attending Queen’s University for a Masters of Anatomical Sciences. She is passionate about all things medical related as well as nutrition and cancer research.