By Lilly Mantra, Contributing writer
While the task of finding a suitable family doctor may sound simplistic originally, it can actually become quite a grueling task. Let's face it. There are literally hundreds upon thousands of educationally sound physicians out there. However, how many of them actually are up the the rather large job of meeting everyone's needs within an entire family?
Because no two people are exactly alike in terms of taste, health standards, or even personalities, the chances of finding a well-balanced doctor that is appealing to everyone within a family can become quite a daunting task.
Where to begin? Sometimes when we look at an entire massive puzzle, we can become overwhelmed and rather anxious. Therefore, quite similarly to attacking a monstrous puzzle, one's best starting place in terms of finding a suitable family doctor, is to start with a good old fashioned list. Lists allow us to break our puzzles down into smaller pieces, evaluate our needs, record our preferences, and logically create some semblance of order when it comes to decision making. By creating a list of desirable qualities that would be appealing when attempting to find a family physician, one systematically designs a categorical list of expectations which will seek to guide them throughout their decision making process.
This list can be composed rather quickly and easily. By reviewing with one's self a simple list of 10 - yes, only 10 - topics to consider at the beginning of the entire "doctor finding process", not only can a great deal of time and effort be saved, but also an enormous amount of sanity! Most people find that by asking themselves simplistic questions such as the ones listed below, they are most successfully able to identify their own needs, and to arrive at a desirable end result in a very time productive manner.
Questions to ask:
1. Male or female: Which preference does your family have when it comes to a physician? Do you or your spouse have a preference when it comes to gender? How about your kids? Perhaps weigh the pros and cons of each.
2. Age: Are you looking for an experienced elderly physician, or someone newer to the field? Keep in mind that while wisdom is a virtue, retirement may be an issue for older doctors. Younger doctors may also be more technologically savvy.
3. Office hours: Make sure that the hours of operation are convenient for the needs of your family.
4.Communication: Do you want a doctor who is going to encourage healthy lifestyle choices, and inform your family members about their bodily changes? Perhaps you want a laid back physician who will not place pressure on anyone? Make sure that the communication level and comfort level are there when inter- viewing potential family physicians. Make sure that you feel comfortable with how a doctor presents situations, his or her level of empathy, and most importantly, his or her ability to communicate effectively.