Grade Your Doctor
There was an old joke from one of my favorite comedians, George Carlin, who said, "Somewhere in the world, there is the worlds' worst doctor....and someone has an appointment with him tomorrow."
That lead me to wonder about the competency of some out there and if there was a way to grade them or at least see their report cards. Let's face it, doctors are not Gods. They are human and they make mistakes. They have personalities, moods, some bad, some good.
Answer these questions:
1. Are you happy with your doctor?
2. Does he have a good bedside manner?
3. Is he always in a hurry?
4. Is the waiting long in the office?
5. Are the office hours something you are comfortable with?
6. Does he remember who you are when you see him?
7. Does he seem forgetful on the medications you're taking or offer you prescriptions you told him in the past you are allergic to? That has happened to a lot of people I know.
8. Is he rude?
9. Do you understand him when he speaks? Maybe he has an accent.
10. Does he understand you when you speak? Maybe you have an accent and he doesn't speak your native tongue.
Your doctor should be like a family member. You should both be on the same page and communicate effectively because if things ever get serious with your health, you want someone on your side you can understand and who understands you.
Your doctor at the very least should respect you, treat you with kindness and empathy, be understanding and compassionate, offering you the best care he can give, while remembering who you are or at least know how to read your file well enough to make you feel at ease, especially if you've been going to him for a while.
He should be able to answer any question you have. The elderly sometimes feel intimidated by doctors, putting all their faith in them and not being assertive enough. It wouldn't hurt to stop in with your elderly parents or grandparents to ensure they are being well treated. Sometimes when staff see there is family readily available, the attitude does change for the better. And that makes the patient feel good knowing that family is on their corner. Sometimes the elderly are too proud to ask and ashamed by their limitations to ask for help.
Before you visit your doctor, write a list of all the questions you have, any new treatments you may have heard of on the news or online and ask questions. Don't worry how many patients are in the lobby waiting to be seen. He is with you now and it is your turn. Make sure he answers every question to your satisfaction. If you need it further explained, maybe he can have the nurse explain it better but he should be able to explain it himself. And whatever you do, do not leave until you are completely satisfied he has answered in a way you understand. You should never leave the office with questions about your own health.
And if you feel you were treated poorly, let someone know. There is no excuse for bad bedside manner. It doesn't matter how good the doctor is at his profession. If he can't treat his patients with the utmost respect, you don't need to fund his Mercedes.
Are you not happy with your doctor? Do you need to find another? Do you simply want to check up on the one you have?
Below is a link of a report card for physicians. Put in his/her name, city/state and begin your search. When their picture pops up (some don't share their pics), click on "Patient Satisfaction", which gives patient reviews.
This is also something you should do if you leave unhappy; Always leave a review. It makes it easier for the next person who may want to check him out. Why should he get all the business if he isn't doing a good job? Play it forward and share your opinions with the rest of us.
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