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How to choose your physician

By: Dr. A. Barak

One of the most important relationships in your life is your relationship with your doctor. How to choose a good match?

When you're healthy it is exactly when you need to develop your relationship with your primary physician. The last thing anyone wants to start doing when they are faced with a sudden or a serious illness is to start scrambling to find a doctor who is competent and whom they trust. A doctor who knows the "healthy" you will be able to spot when something is not quite right.
When searching for a physician, it goes without saying that we all want a knowledgable and competent physician. Many people concentrate their search solely on the physician's credentials. However, a doctor's credentials, where they learned, where they trained and have worked can only give us part of the picture.

Ask Yourself

 Convinience: How far you are willing to travel to see your doctor and how much if anything you are willing to pay.
 Payment: Are you interested in a private physician or in a doctor through your insurance coverage?
 Availability: What are the physician's office hours? How long do you need to wait for an appointment? Is there any consideration made for appointments for urgent matters? Is there emergency coverage? Who covers the physician's practice when he is ill or on vacation?
 Affability: Are the office staff courteous and friendly? Do you feel comfortable with the physician? Do you like the physician? Does he explain things in easy to understand language?

Ask the doctor

  How many years have you been practicing?
  What are your credentials?
  Do you have any references?
  Do you have particular expertise in a certain area?
  What is the best part of being a doctor?
  What is the most challenging part of being a doctor?
Any questions that you have are legitimate and the manner in which the doctor answers them will give you clues as to his bedside manner as well.


Ask around

As with any service or product, the best recommendations come from satisfied customers. When you are looking for a physician, ask around. Find out which doctors your friends and co-workers recommend and why. Another good source of information is to find out who other physicians and health care practitioners use as their physicians.
When looking for a specialist you might be a little more flexible than when choosing your GP. You might be willing to travel a little farther or a pay a little more. You might be willing to deal with a doctor whose bedside manner is less than perfect if he is highly proficient and knowledgable in his field of specialization.
What you need to remember is that your GP should continue to manage your "total" care including your visits to and recommendations from specialists. Your GP should be your advocate and continue to see the whole picture and you as a whole person. That is precisely the reason why choosing a GP you trust and who knows how to listen and explain is so important.
This is where Medix can give you an advantage. Not only does Medix have its own in house specialists and a worldwide database of top physicians and medical centers, Medix also works in collaboration with highly sought after physicians and medical centres around the world.

Traits of great doctors

Good doctors are separated from great doctors not by skill alone. A great doctor is first and foremost an effective communicator and knows how to listen. Traits you should seek out in a doctor:
  Good listener
  Explains information in easy to understand language
  Is not afraid to say he does not know something
  Is willing to consult with others & research things he does not know or understand
  Involves the patient in decision making
  Is personable and makes you feel that he takes your worries seriously
  Does not make you feel rushed
Your doctor should be a good match for you
Choosing your primary physician or specialist is not a decision to be made lightly. The physician you choose sets the tone for the type of medical care you will recent in health and in sickness.
It is essential for your primary physician or specialist to be a good match for you and your personality. You need to like and trust your doctor because one day your life might very well be in his hands.
Dr. A Barak Is Medix' Medical Consultant 

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