In my experience, one of the qualities I find most lacking, is the inability to "hear" the patient. I see that he/she is looking at me, but not fully engaged. I respect the hectic, overtaxed schedules and demands that physicians face today and it is daunting. I would like to know that the time I spend in the office, often waiting beyond the time he/she would wait for me, is productive. The cost of medical care in the U.S. is exorbitant. But beyond that, the most important consideration is the fact that I have "chosen" this particular doctor and need to know that I can place my trust in him. A list of qualities I feel are imperative for excellence in achieving the best in medical care are, aside from the obvious educations and degrees are:
2) Concern without being an alarmist
3) The ability to listen and ask questions to clarify
4) An understanding that many, but not all, patients know
their bodies enough to know when something is wrong.
5) Allow for open discussion without condensending
6) Refrain from comments like "I'm the doctor" or "don't ask so many questions", "stop thinking so much, it'll just get you in trouble." Give the same respect you require from your patients.
A doctor I engaged for a second opinion violated my trust when he told me I did not need to know "why" I was having a medical problem. It was good enough that I had medication that was helping and to smile, go home and take my meds. His office had the audacity to send me another bill for the $5 they had mistakenly left off. I filed the bill in my circular file. I almost sent them a bill of my own for wasted time and "abuse through arrogance". I figured that, too, would be a waste of my time as I doubt he was intelligent enough to understand my disappointment.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer a question that impacts many lives.