Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 31, 2019

Top Qualities That All Patients Look For in Their Healthcare Providers

When students enter medical school, they generally have a desire to help others. The capacity in which they choose to help people can be physically, mentally, or emotionally, it just depends on the area of study the student chooses but one constant that remains in every aspect of the medical field is that the health and well-being of their patients come first.

Choosing a career in healthcare is not something to be taken so lightly because it requires a lot out of a student the moment they decide they want to practice medicine. Now, when medical students first graduate from medical school and complete their residency, they will more than likely have opportunities to obtain a position in the facility where they did their residency but if they don’t want to work there, they can search for positions in a specialization through job boards specifically for doctors.

Now, once medical students land their first position where they can begin to practice medicine, the pressure is on. They begin to feel the pressure of trying to be the best doctor they can be to their patients, right? Of course they do! But is there really a secret as to what makes a doctor the best doctor ever? Not really… the key to being the best doctor you can be is really in the hands of your patients. Your patients are really the ones who determine whether or not you’re a good doctor.

You have the skills and knowledge that make you a good doctor but what about those other factors that patients actually look for in doctors? In case you didn’t realize it but patients actually have their own set of criterion that they look for in physicians that help them determine whether or not they want to be placed in the care of that doctor. If you want to be the best doctor you can be to your patients, here are a few things that patients shared with their healthcare providers as to what they look for in physicians.

Quality 1: Honesty and Transparency

Patients understand that doctors are humans just like them… they know that they put on their pants one leg at a time just like them. In that same token, they also understand that their doctor may not know everything about their condition or diagnosis but they expect their doctor to be transparent enough to admit that they don’t know much about it but are educating themselves about it.

With honesty, patients truly appreciate a doctor who can be honest about them with their diagnosis. There’s no need to sugarcoat the truth, yet there’s also no need to just blatantly and abruptly discuss the truth as well. There’s a way to say things to a patient and delivery is key.

There will be times where a doctor will have to deliver bad news, test results, or success rates with certain procedures… if a doctor can be transparent with their patients with sensitive information like that, they will keep that doctor as their physician for a very long time. Sometimes patients will even relocate with the doctor if the doctor changes locations.

Quality 2: A Good Communicator and Active Listener

When patients go to the doctor, they don’t want to feel like they’ve been lectured to… they want to feel like they’ve been able to effectively communicate how they’re feeling and they also want to feel like they were able to receive the information from the doctor process it just as effectively. In order for a patient to feel like that, the doctor needs to be a good communicator and active listener.

Doctors have lots of patients but every single patient they have needs to feel special and tended to. Patients want a doctor that values their opinion, actively listens while they describe the symptoms they’re having, and ask more specific questions about the symptoms they’re experiencing. When the doctor asks the patient questions about what they just described, it lets the patient know that the doctor was really listening. From there, the doctor will need to explain treatment options and communicate with the patient in a way that they really understand.

Quality 3: Care and Trust

According to St. George’s University, a patient is more than another name behind a medical record number… they are a person who depends on you to improve their quality of life. Because doctors work with patients and their medical conditions, they have access to very sensitive information and the patients trust that the doctor won’t violate their trust by breaking any HIPPA laws.

Patients want to feel like their doctor cares… They want to feel like their doctor genuinely cares for them without financial incentive. Trust and believe, patients can tell when a doctor genuinely cares for them and gives them good treatment versus when a doctor is overly treating them and referring them to see specialists that they don’t really need. Patients simply want a doctor that genuinely cares about their well-being.

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