Sunday, November 21, 2010

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Family

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on earning your nursing degree online for the Guide to Health Education.


Your children are everything to you, and they deserve the best. Especially when it comes to health care. A good family doctor should be there to help you with all concerns, big and small, and to provide sound advice on how to raise healthy children. Finding this doctor is a whole other matter altogether -- looking through the phone book can't tell you much about which doctor will be right for young children. That's why we've compiled these tips for choosing the right doctor for your family. Look for these traits, and if you find one matching your needs, you've found a keeper.

  • How does the doctor interact with your children? If they put the kids at ease, that's a step in the right direction. Going to the doctor can be scary for little ones, so find someone who understands this and tries to alleviate any of their anxieties through kindness, goofiness, or interest in their activities.

  • Choose a doctor who is receptive to your questions and concerns, no matter how small. It's natural that as the parent of young children, you may be overly concerned about something that is in all actuality quite minor. Don't let the doctor belittle your concerns, however; find one who cares, and wants to put your mind at ease as well.

  • Choose a doctor who is a good communicator. When you ask questions, do they rush through responses or answer them thoroughly? How soon is a call back from a phoned-in question? Can you understand what they're telling you, or is it full of unintelligible medical jargon? To get a better idea of what good doctor-patient communication is, check out these Resources for Health Communication.

  • At the same time, make sure the doctor is a good listener. Your concerns need to be heard and understood, not just for the health of your children, but for your own personal peace of mind. If they seem to be tuning you out and are just writing drug prescriptions, they may not be the right fit for you.

  • Find out the office's hours. Are they open on the weekends? If not, are you OK with that? Make sure the doctor is available when you think you will need them.

  • The right family doctor should have a positive outlook. It's more of a gut feeling than anything tangible, but if your doctor exudes positivity, that's a good fit. Doctors should be optimistic and instill hope in their clients, especially when dealing with children. Oftentimes, the best drug of all is positivity.

  • Know what hospital or educational institution your doctor is affiliated with. Doctors who have such connections are most often more up-to-date with current medical practices and just better, more competent doctors than those who are not. Also, this will affect where they refer your children to for more specialized care. If you have a preference of one hospital over another, choose your doctor accordingly.

  • Find out the doctor's reputation. Ask around, and see who your friends go to. This is truly the best yardstick of a good doctor -- if families you know and trust are trusting their children’s health in the hands of a certain doctor.



2 comments:

Sound Proud International said...

you are definitely right! we have to find the right family doctor especially for our children. We have to make sure that our kids get the best healthcare attention at all times.

Anne said...

if the doctor is not paranoid... sorry but i just had bad experienced with doctors... thanks for the info anyway... ENGLISH HORRAY!

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