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Take the Time to Choose the Right Doctor-- It Could Be a Life Saver

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After going through a negative experience recently when I was selecting a doctor for myself, I decided to reach out to some family members who are doctors in several fields and have been practicing for years. I also spoke to some friends who have been going through medical problems to find out how they chose a doctor for themselves. I also searched on the Internet on how to select the right doctor for myself. After all the research I did I came up with several pointers that could help me in finding the right doctors; right now I need to find an eye doctor, family physician, dentist and an endocrinologist. But even after all this work, who knows? I could end up having a not-so-great doctor. I mean, I am not too selective about a lot of things, but this is my life that I am putting in someone else's care.

My criteria for finding the right doctor is based on the experiences I went through with different doctors so far. Basically, I'm looking for:
1. A doctor who has enough time for me to discuss my health issues.
2. A doctor who is compassionate and understands my medical needs.
3. A doctor who actually looks at me as a person rather than just a medical record.
4. A doctor who exudes confidence in his or her field.
5. A doctor who actually listens to me.
6. A doctor whose office environment is pleasant when I enter.
7. A doctor who is available when I need to reach him or her, or at least have a doctor on call who is available.
8. A doctor who follows up with my medical history when I go back for a second visit.
9. A doctor who has the right credentials to treat me.
10. A doctor who could visit me in the hospital if necessary, which would let me know that he or she is considerate and able to answer my inquiries about my situation at that time.
11. A doctor who makes me feel comfortable in discussing a problem.
12. A doctor who is not rude or unpleasant or thinks of me as an unintelligent person.

The above-mentioned criteria is just for myself. I understand that others might have different set of expectations from their doctors. So here are the general pointers that I picked up from different sources including the Internet :

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.