I had a wonderfully interesting conversation with a favorite friend this weekend. She’s the kind of person who, when she laughs you can’t help but start laughing. She’s unconventional in the best of ways. When my friend moved back into town she was looking for a new gynecologist. So, instead of asking friends or family, she just looked at pictures on the websites of doctors in town. She was looking for someone who was “not too old but looked like they knew what they were doing.”
I could just imagine her perusing through online images of OBGYNs like an online dating site. Well, she picked a doctor and it turned out pretty well for her. But it got me to thinking, how should you choose a gynecologist or any other doctor? Looks? Personality? Experience? Data? Wait time? Office location?
I don’t know that there is a magical answer for this. First, most physicians are more than adequately trained. They have spent thousands of hours in training to get to this point. Will they be perfect? No, we are human. But finding a doctor is probably a lot like finding a house, a spouse or anything else in life. I remember growing up thinking that God was using His laser beams to find me the one and only exact right person to marry and if I missed out I would never find another. But, I DO think finding Pastor Jason is kind of the meaning of grace. More than I deserve. There probably aren’t any laser beams bringing you a spouse. And there probably isn’t a laser beam directing you to the right physician. But, I think you should look for a few key things when choosing a gynecologist or any other doctor.
- Do you feel free to ask questions to your doctor? You should be able to be open and honest with your physician.
- Does being seen on time matter a lot to you? Often doctors who spend more time answering questions or have a large patient population because of their great care might run behind. You have to ask yourself if it’s worth the wait, so to speak
- Do you have a serious/rare illness? Then it’s probably best to find a specialist who is highly regarding and highly skilled. Do your homework. Ask people with the same diagnosis or illness about who they saw and why. Find out if any doctors you are currently seeing would recommend someone for your specific case.
- Do you have a gender preference? I would say that gender isn’t a huge issue in choosing a doctor. If your provider is a caring physician who expresses empathy then it shouldn’t matter what their gender is. But, if you are only going to be comfortable sharing your full un-edited medical history with a specific gendered physician then maybe you should consider it.
No, there are no laser beams directing you to the perfect doctor for you. If you’re looking for a doctor to magically fix all your ills in one visit you probably won’t find them. If you’re looking for someone to tell you exactly what you want to hear, you might find them but you might not actually be healthier at the end of the road. But I do hope you find a physician who can be more than gracious to you. Who can listen, guide, and care for you. Who you respect and trust. If you are seeing someone who isn’t caring for you in a way you find beneficial, seek another physician out. I don’t want a patient to continue to see me if they don’t want to continue to be my patient. Because while I find it hilarious that my friend found her doc in the same way you would find a date online, I would hate for anyone to be trapped on a bad date with their doctor.
May you find your perfect match.