Finding the right doctor can be challenging.
While your insurance company may provide search tools to find a physician that meets searchable criteria, you have no guarantee that the doctor you find will be a good fit for you. Word of mouth can help narrow the field. Still, you may not know if you’ve found the right doctor until the first office visit is over.
Here are some tips to see if your doctor is right for you in the first 90 seconds of your visit.
First impressions are important. What is your gut feeling when you walk into the office? It should be clean inside and easy to reach. You should feel comfortable in the space. The staff reflect the doctor's attitude. Are they pleasant? Do they greet you with warmth?
What's your first impression of the doctor? Doctors have busy lives, but they should be well-groomed and wear clean clothes. Your doctor should wash her hands when she enters the room and at the end of your visit. You should receive a handshake and eye contact from your doctor.
Your doctor should sit down when it's time to talk so you don't feel like a commodity. A great doctor will let you talk for the first two to three minutes and listen to your concerns. Does your doctor take notes about your condition?
You should be able to ask your doctor about anything. That doesn't mean she'll have the answers on procedure costs and insurance coverage, but she should be able to direct you to someone who can help. Most importantly, if you can't talk to your doctor about your deepest health worries, then it's time to find a new doctor.
Listen in as Dr. Christine Meyer shares how to find the right doctor for you.
You can also check out Dr. Meyer's newest book, The Longest Mile: A Doctor, A Food Fight, and the Footrace That Rallied a Community Against Cancer.