What do you like in a doctor.

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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 8/20/2010 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
We often talk about issues we have with doctors so how about turning it around and talk about what you like in a doctor. What would be you ideal doctor.

For me:

It would be one that dressed like a "normal" human being. His idea of formal wear would be Dockers and a Polo.
He would be someone who likes to be a first name basis with his patients.
He would be someone with a good balance of humor and professionalism.
He would be well versed in his subject and be able to explain things to you without using hundred dollar words.
He would be someone who loves a good mystery and loves to solve puzzles.
He would be someone who is an active listener and truly enjoys listening and makes you feel like he has all the time in the world for you.
He would treat you as a full partner in your health care and not act like the boss of your life.

Believe it or not I have actually had dealings with 2 doctors that fit the above almost perfectly. One was a doctor fresh out of residency who used to be my PCP until he moved away and the other is an older GI specialist and the only one in the area me or my wife will go to for GI issues.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

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Date Joined Aug 2008
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   Posted 8/20/2010 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   

I really like your list - and would agree 100% w/ all you wrote.... Especially the last one... an "ideal" doctor would realize he's your consultant - and that he's working FOR you. Just as we hire a plumber, mechanic, accountant and so forth - for their area of "expertise"...

Believe it or not - my PM doc is pretty darn close to this list... but it took a LONG time to find him :)

And, yes, I love a good sense of humor in a doctor, too :)

Main Health Issues: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibro; Chronic Pain (back issues, migraines, carpal tunnel, among other things); Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism and Hypoadrenalism; Mixed Sleep Apnea (on BiPap); Depression/Anxiety; Vitamin D Deficiency.

MAJOR surprise - Pregnant, w/ twin little girls (after six boys). Due Sept, 2010. Praying they are healthy. YES, you can have chronic pain AND have a successful pregnancy - not easy, but it can be done. :)

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
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   Posted 8/20/2010 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Jim! Our family has been blessed with a Dr who has all of the Quality's you mentioned above. Around here, he is called Dr OZ!

We just love him! :)

Now if I could just find a Good PM that is this way.

"Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."

Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
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   Posted 8/21/2010 9:35 AM (GMT -6)   


   This is a very good topic. I have often thought this same thing myself.

~~> What would be you ideal doctor.
  He would teat me like a patient, instead of a younger sister (positive and negative)
  He would be honest with me, instead of making really bad news sound like a shined up penny
  His office would be close to home, instead of 1.5 hours drive away
  He would hand pick his recpetionists, requiring compassionate service
  He would hear me the first time when I say, "I think something is wrong.".  Instead of waiting until I say, "Look at this, it is terribly wrong.".
     .... alright, so I really don't have much to complain about. They are all very kind and caring. When I did meet someone who I now call "Dr. Smug" I walked away as fast as I could. Of course later, he did apologize.. it just doesnt excuse the fact that he played roulette with my life. *shiver*
     It would be nice if doctors had "reviews" yearly. Either you meet the expectations of your patients and you can keep praticing, or you don't and you need to go back to school to re train before praticing medicine again. That simple.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
Chronic Pain Moderator

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 8/21/2010 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
My ideal doctor would be someone with a healthy curiosity...someone who is in the medical field for no other reason than to help his/her patients. Out of ALL the many doctors I've seen in my lifetime, the ONE I remember most was the one who didn't have a clue what could possibly be wrong with me so he went to his medical texts to FIND OUT. That, unfortunately, is a rarity.

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 8/21/2010 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
My ideal doctor would have all those qualities everyone has mentioned, but with only one addition.
I had a resident ask me once what I thought was going on in my body, since I knew it so well. I am not sure how to explain that in expectation form, but I can tell you it made me feel for the first time that I had a say in what happens to me, and that he took my pain and condition seriously. That ER resident made me realize that a doctor is meant to work with us and for us to make our situation better, not just to give his impression and if you dont follow it, refuse to treat you. Eye opening moment to say the least.
I would post more, but I'm having a fuzzy day and have peaches to can and turn into jam.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, 7 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions, and a kidney stone! Wait, future medial transcriptionist I must say ureteral calculus!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 8/21/2010 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Some of the things you all have mentioned are important to me-others not so much. I don't know what my doctor wears-other then the long white coat I have never noticed.
Here is what I love about my rhuematologist.

1. When I call her she calls back herself the same day herself.
2. The staff in her office realize that they represent the doctor and that she won't tolerate anything less then respect and they would never fail to pass on messages.
3. When I went in to see her for the first time I had been on steroids (30 mgs) for 42 days and looked fairly healthy. I filled out the form-you know the one how much has this disease affected your life in the last two weeks-but redated it for right before I went on the steroids and filled it out as if it were then. Then when she came in to the exam room I was all prepared to tell her how sick I was. As soon as I started talking-desprately trying to make her believe me-she interupted me and said "I know." Then she let me talk but I was trying to convince her anymore I already knew she believed me.
4. She is smarter then I am and let's me argue with her anyway.
5. When I call her she believes that I am really sick and helps to make me feel better.
6. She doesn't believe that I should just tough it out-or suck it up and deal or any of that stuff-she thinks I should be primarily symptom free.
7. It isn't just medicine, she will also advise me to get enough sleep, and ask if I need help with that. She talks to me about my weight and even that is respectful.
8. I never leave her office without her telling me to call her if things change and she means it.

9. Did I mention she calls me back herself the same day-every time.

White Beard
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 8/21/2010 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually I think my Pain Doctor is as close to an Ideal Doctor that I could ever want! He listens to me, he treats me with respect, he cares, and is light hearted and can joke around, but above all, he is honest and ethical! He treats the whole person, not just the spine and pain, although that is what the clinic is, "The Spine Pain Clinic"! Heck when I was having marriage difficulities, I was able to talk with him about it and he listened and he even got me a referral to a counselor that would take medicare and triicare, ( not many of them do!) Even if I have a problem with pain in some other area, or something else going on, he checks it out and orders the appropriate test! I was complaining to him about being tired all the time, and having trouble staying awake, well he first wrote me a script for provigil, but my insurance at that time would not cover it, so then he referred me to a sleep specialist and they found out I have I have severe complex sleep apnea! While doing this he keeps my PCP in the loop. Heck after he is done with his appointment with me, he dictates his notes in front of me and then ask if he left anything out and it it was correct. Or if I wanted him to add or change anything? I have never had any other Doctor treat me that way! In other words I think a good Doctor treats his patient as a whole person, like my pain doctor says, you have to treat the whole person to be able to treat the persons pain!!!. When ever he orders test, he then goes over the results with me, we deside on a course of action! He is the first Doctor that I have ever had that I can honestly say that I have complete and total trust in!! I do wish all Doctors were like him!!!!!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2859
   Posted 8/22/2010 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   

I would like one who doesn't give you the ole 'eye roll' when you tell him you were dx'd with fibromyalgia years ago.

One that bothers to look up drug interactions/ withdrawal symptoms before prescribing a mixture of meds that almost kill you when you try to get off.

I hate it when they don't sit down, and look at your chart with his/her back to you facing the window...is he looking for his Corvette in the parking lot??

I would like one that doesn't lean back in his chair with his feet on the desk, chewing on the end of a pen browsing through a PDR. Yikes!

One that doesn't talk to me about weight issues when his neck flab is oozing over the collar of his shirt.

And...never call me ma'am! 

Yes...I have been to a lot of doctors and finally have a good one!



fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ Meds: valium Advil

Reach out and touch someone. If they don't touch you back it's because you still have brownie batter on your face.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 8/22/2010 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I love a doctor who actually listens to you, doesn't treat you as an imbecile, recognises the fact at this stage you probably know more about your body than they do!
I hate the patronising ones, who pat me on the head ( I'm pretty small) or ask you all the questions everyone else has already asked 100 times before and you know is on your file!!!

Sometimes you get those dreamy doctors who you think are probably out to lunch already and not actually present with you in the room.

Oh the joys...golitho

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 8/23/2010 3:59 AM (GMT -6)   
OMG Donna - thank you for the laugh! I needed it! :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 8/23/2010 5:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I'd like to add one more thing to ya'll's list.....

He would proactively go to bat for me when WC has a problem with any of my treatments including the SCS!!!!

This last entry is exactly what I got in my doc. WC has been a little demanding in the past year or two and my doctor has been very proactive in what he desires for me. In fact when I had my first Eval for the SCS my doctor wrote a letter to WC telling them that if they did not allow him to seek the proper treatment for me that he would drop me as a patient and they could find someone to care for me the way they wanted.

Now most patients would see this as a huge obsticle, but I've never had a doctor that went to bat for me. Most, as soon as WC told them no, they would drop the entire subject and just keep titrating me up on my meds. But my new PCP has actually helped to make WC understand why the SCS is going to be the best treatment for me and has helped with getting the proper things to happen when I thought it was going to be a lost cause once again.

To me the office could be a bit more sensitive but for the most part......I like my new doc.
I live to "Tame My Pain!" 
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