Help me help you more........I want to hear what you really want, what you really need and why you want it. I also would not mind hearing some of your experiences both good and bad no matter what. Thanks.
I want a doctor to be Educated about how to diagnose issues. Not how to prescribe band-aids.
Personally, im only concerned with doctors now, if I have a traumatic accident.
If something did happen, I would seek a doctor that was fully committed to Diagnosing the Root Cause, and would have that discussion before coming in.
I want a physician that will view any health problem I may be dealing with as a puzzle to be solved, not just symptoms to ameliorate with drugs. What a change it would be to get a recommendation to read a book instead of a prescription for a pill!
I want a physician who not only is knowledgeable in nutrition-regulated health, but who follows the lifestyle themselves in order to be an example for their patients. I don't want a hair stylist who looks like Don King, so why would I want a doctor who needs ten weeks with Jillian Michaels?
I've had plenty of crappy doctor's experiences throughout the years. Some of my biggest gripes from those are:
-Being treated with suspicion rather than curiosity or concern--at times I've been made to feel like a burden (presenting too many things at once), drug seeker, or hypochondriac who has been taken in by internet scare mongering and am certain that my care suffered from those snap assumptions. For instance, in college I once simply asked for a referral to an allergist from the campus doc. After ten minutes, he told me I was suffering from anxiety and wrote me a valium prescription and refused to give me a referral.
-Having questions met with ambivalence or even hostility. Questioning the efficacay of a proposed intervention, asking for a specific test, asking for clarification, or requesting a copy of test results have all gotten me terse responses and sometimes outright refusals.
-Being encouraged to be a poor advocate for my own health by the paternalistic nature of some doctors and the health care system. The "shut up and take this pill cos daddy know's best" attitude has reigned throughout most of my medical experiences and really disempowered me over time. I'm working hard to rectify this.
My ideal health practitioner would be the opposite of the above. Luckily, my current one is! I recently started going to a sliding scale community health clinic on account of being uninsured for the past nine years and living well below the poverty line. I was assigned to a nurse practitioner who has been the most pleasant surprise in the two times I have seen her. She immediately ordered a complete metabolic panel, A1C, TSH/T3/T4, and a CBC and told me online sites where I could seek additional clarification of my results in case she couldn't get to it all during my appointment. She also explained why she was ordering them since she knew I would be paying out of pocket. She is warm and open to questions and ideas. She lit up when I said I chart my menstrual cycle and seems to respect my knowledge about my body. She said she prefers nutritional & lifestyle interventions and wishes more people were open to them. She has yet to mention drugs. She has yet to say the word cholesterol. She recommends eating gluten-free. She is up on current science. She is a treasure.
I would like a doctors to give prices over the phone so I can decide if I want to see them based on what I can afford out of pocket.
I would like doctors to allow patients to interview them (at least a short call over the phone) to determine compatibility.
I would like doctors to be more open minded and up on new medical studies. And if they are not to allow the idea that they could learn from the patient. At least not be openly hostile about my research.
I would like my doctor to ask more questions about what I am doing to keep myself healthy. Focus more on positive ways I'm improving my health. Suggestions to build on that are perfect.
I would like doctors to stop making it seem as though there is a one size fits all program for health. What I think works for me is as important as what the doc thinks will work.
To those doctors who say these simple things are not possible, fine, I will continue taking care of my own health and only go to free clinics where I don't listen to anything they tell me and use them only for blood testing and other lab work.
It sounds like most people want a doctor to spend more time to them and listen more and just practice better medicine. This is pretty much what patients always want. My question would be how many people are willing to go the concierge medicine route? If you want doctors to practice real medicine, then you're going to need to divorce doctors from both insurance and government paying the tab. The fact is that it is always going to be cheaper to for insurers and government to force physicians into practicing fast food medicine.
Yeah, I can do a decent focused exam and history inside of 15 minutes. If I have to do 3 or 4 an hour and then sit around for hours after work doing paperwork and arguing with your insurance company or Medicare over ordering tests for you, well, that 15 minute exam isn't going to be that great towards the end of the day. Plus, if you have some complicated issues and I can only bill for one chief complaint per visit, or if you want nutritional counseling or whatever--yeah, that isn't going to happen so well under the current system.
I would love to set up the kind of practice that people on here want in a few years when I get done with school and residency, but unless the market is there (and fortunately, I think it is), I won't be able to practice the kind of medicine that I want and that I owe to my patients. So it starts with the patients--you need to demand the kind of service that you want, and it just isn't going to come through your PPO, HMO, government plan or anything like that. So seek out the doctors in your cities that are doing concierge plans and support them. Many of them won't necessarily share your nutritional views, but here's the thing--you're paying them directly. They want to keep you happy as patient and a customer. So they'll research it themselves and hopefully become more open minded, especially if more patients are pushing for it. Direct payment between you and your physician is going to lead to them being more responsive. That, and it makes primary care more lucrative, which means you get more and better doctors choosing it instead of going into subspecialties where they can use their talents after you've trashed your body for years.
So as a future physician, I'm telling you all that I want to help you (well, the greater "you") all and I want to practice good medicine, but consumers have got to create the right market for physicians. I don't want the government coming between me and my patients and I don't want insurers coming between me and my patients. Me and my patients are the only parties that really have a vested interest in my patients health.
I certainly welcome Dr. K or any other practicing physicians thoughts on this, but I, for one, have about zero desire to run a practice (or be part of a practice) that sees patients merely as RVUs.
More than anything I want a doctor that ASKS ME QUESTIONS and LISTENS TO MY ANSWERS.
First the nurse comes in and checks my blood pressure and asks why I'm there. Then the doctor breezes in and updates my prescription because everything is status quo. She never asked how I was doing with anything. When I expressed my desire to figure out WHAT caused my blood pressure issue it just seemed to confuse her. I had medication, things were under control, WHY would I want to know what caused it. I asked about tests and she wasn't even listening. When the results came in, they weren't what I asked for.
I had a doctor that spent more time with me and all the other patients, but he was so good he got extremely busy and it was hard to get into an appointment with him. He was still all about the pills, but at least he talked to me.
I don't usually respond to these sorts of things but I feel a calling to speak up.
Trying to read through the responses was painful. Very painful.
What kind of a doctor would I like to go to? None. I want a partner in wellness. I want a person not a corporate fat head who is only interested in the profit line. I want a partner in health who is a holistic practitioner who recognizes that, I the patient, am not a body part or a symptom but a person. I am a person, whole person. My nutrition effects not only my body's health but my mental health, and ultimately my spiritual health. Sometimes what is hurting isn't my back but my "heart." I want a parter in health who is not egotistic or narcistic. I want a partner in health who knows more than I do about the working of the human body--for crying in the sink how in the world can a doctor care for patients if they do not know the value of cholesterol or that there are different sizes of LDL? BUT want to put me a woman on a statin even though I my HDL is the highest they have ever seen and my Triglycerides are the lowest BUT my LDL is very high? Fortunately I said no and did my own research! I want a partner in health who is honest. Please do not tell a patient with cancer and their family that that they will be just fine and then the patient dies the next week.
I have been involved in the health care crisis in this country for nearly 20 years since I could not get health care while pregnant with my son because I did not have insurance but medicaid. Nothing has changed in this country and will not change until we the patients demand quality care for all people not just those who can afford it. Health care is not a business!
I would also like to find a Dr. who doesn't carry such an air of arrogance (not you, Dr. K.; you seem like a good guy). They routinely talk down to me, brush off my questions, treat my own thoughts about my own health as silly. No, I don't have medical training, but I read a lot about matters of health, and I'm a college professor and fiction writer with seven books published, so I don't exactly need to have basic conversation dumbed-down for me. Also, when I'm kept in waiting rooms for over an hour, I assume that once again the Dr. has overbooked, intentionally, and that the assumption is that his time is more valuable than mine.
These have probably already been mentioned in the above answers, but I would love to see:
I would like to be able to get blood tests when I am not sick. For example: At my last visit at the doctor's office I asked for a vitamin D test. They wouldn't do it, and gave me the RDA for vit D. So, I really don't know what my levels are and I live in the NW Washington State and I do supplement with Vit d3. That's one thing..I will probably think of more
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