Tags: doctor | healthcare | primary care | womens health

How to Find a Great Doctor

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Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 05:10 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Despite the shortage of primary care physicians and the pressure many of them are under from insurance companies, I encourage you not to give up on finding great healthcare. It just takes a little work. If you find a great doctor who is booked for months and doesn’t take new patients, ask her to recommend a new competent physician willing to grow with you and become part of your family.
 
I don’t recommend using any of the popular websites that are supposed to help you find a doctor. Many of the sites use hospital databases or only list doctors who go to hospitals that advertise. So you must be smart and make the decision that finding a good doctor for you and your family is at least as important as finding a good plumber.
 
Word-of-mouth is the best way to find a physician. Your friends likely will have the same interest in doctors as you do, so you probably will find the right doctor by following their advice. Asking a nurse won’t help. Nurses work in hospitals, so they know who the most popular doctors are in their facilities, but if you are looking for a doctor who does integrative medicine, sickness prevention, and hormones — basically what I offer — these are not doctors who go to hospitals because they don’t take care of acutely ill patients.
 
When it comes to what makes a good doctor, gender is not a factor. I have met women doctors without a heart and men who have sat on patients’ beds and cried with them as they neared the end of their lives.
 
When you are referring to an obstetrician-gynecologist, it is easier and more comfortable to get into a stirrup for a woman than a man, but that doesn’t mean it’s a rule. My first baby was delivered by a woman doctor and my second by a man. I didn’t like the man because he kept telling me to relax my shoulders while I was in labor and I asked him how many times he had gone through the experience and he got defensive. He also told me at 34, I was an older pregnant woman and shouldn’t consider having another child.
 
That was 29 years ago and times have changed, only on the surface. Underneath the new façade, people are still people with prejudices and doctors are no different than anybody else. A woman doctor who isn’t trying to act like a man, who is gentle and uses her God- given gift of being a nurturer and caregiver, is probably whom I would choose.
 
In our class-conscious society, we value where someone went to medical school and on training and credentials. From my experience I can tell you that the best doctors are the ones who have good training, which you can get anywhere outside Ivy League schools, and postgraduate training in public health hospitals, which offer lots of learning experiences. You want a doctor who has accumulated not just diplomas but, more importantly, wisdom. You must find a doctor who cares about you, listens to you, makes eye contact, and doesn’t have an ego so he or she doesn’t always have to be right.

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Dr-Schwartz
Despite the shortage of primary care physicians and the pressure many of them are under from insurance companies, I encourage you not to give up on finding great healthcare. It just takes a little work.
doctor, healthcare, primary care, womens health
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2014-10-04
Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 05:10 PM
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