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Monday, October 25, 2010

Question of the Week: What Qualities Do You Want In a Doctor?

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)Image via Wikipedia
If you read my post Building the Perfect Doctor, you know that:





  1. With regarding to my chronic pain and fibromyalgia, I have not found my Doctor Right yet
  2. and
  3. while I have several Good Enough Doctors cobbling together a chronic pain and fibromyalgia treatment plan of sorts, all those doctors put together do not equal a Doctor Right.
In addition to medical knowledge, the qualities I am looking for in a doctor include:
  1. An appreciation that medicine is an applied science AND art.
  2. An acknowledgment that for treatment to successful, a doctor needs to look at a patient from a biopsychosocial perspective and prescribe treatments that build upon a patient's strengths.
  3. A commitment to using medicine as both a way to cure disease AND relieve suffering.
  4. A passion for caring for patients that is unaffected by the stress of the job or the difficulties of the medical system.
  5. A way of viewing medical problems as challenges and opportunities for learning and professional growth.
  6. An attitude of persistence: continually striving to understand patients' medical problems, sticking by them even when the course of treatment is unclear and never giving up on a patient.
  7. A plan of attack that recognizes that sometimes simple is the best approach to problem-solving.
Since this is the question of the week, I want to know what YOU think.

Have you found your Doctor Right? Do you think having a Good Enough Doctor is enough? Did I leave something off my list that you would include? Is there something on my list that you would delete?

Please share, either here or at the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OhMyAchesandPains.


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3 comments

Migrainista said...

That's a darn good list. I have yet to find Dr Right...while I definately want to find and be able to access him or her the cynic in me wonders if such a doc exists. I sure hope so.

Emily said...

One of the most important traits that I must have in a doctor is one who will treat your SYMPTOMS rather than your blood work.

Laboratories are not always perfect and you may be positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis for example and not test positive. If you have the symptoms of a classic case or R.A., you should be treated like you have R.A.

Doctors are not Gods and I would also say that you should not be afraid to "fire" them if they are not helping you, especially if they are doubting how sick you really are.

Darren said...

I love the post, and I absolutely agree that a bunch of "Good Enough" Doctors do NOT equal one Doctor Right. I was lucky in that I found a pair of Doctor Right's, one at my university health center (yes, I know, I no longer by lotto tickets, I used up my good luck with that one) and another the CFS/Fibro doc I saw in Chicago. Unfortunately I then had to move and leave both of them. Stupid me.
As for what made them Doctors Right? 1) They were willing to listen - both to ME, which was crucial, and to EACH OTHER and other doctors who knew more than they did. No matter how good a Dr you are, you aren't an expert on everything. If you won't defer or listen to people who know more than you about certain things, stay away from me.
2) You MUST be willing to listen, and think, and treat symptoms. I'm not an easy patient, and I can be nearly bedridden or unable to remember my name while most of my labs look perfectly normal. Just because the blood looks OK does not mean that I am.
3) Willing to work within the system as best as possible, and work around the system when necessary. The best doctor in the world does me no good if they won't try to help get meds or tests approved by insurance, etc.
Those are the big three that I can think of right off the top of my head. I'm seeing a new doc on Nov 17th, hopefully he'll be like one of my Dr Right's before.