“Do you like your family practitioner in Perry LA?” my sister asked a few weeks ago. “Would you recommend him?”
“Absolutely! I adore my doctor-he’s great!” I answered immediately, and then I started a long, emphatic testimonial, as if I were my doctor’s publicity manager. During my monologue, I used words like “smart,” “logical,” “listens,” and “respectful.” Afterwards, I realized I had not uttered the words “qualified” or “well-trained”-not even once.
The conversation with my sister made me ponder the factors and characteristics that set the great doctors apart from the good ones. Websites rating and ranking doctors crowd the Internet. On these lists, medical professionals earn the title of “Top Docs” based on surveys filled out by their medical peers. And so I posed questions to a panel of six doctors, nurses, and health care professionals. I asked: What do you look for when considering a doctor to oversee the care of your own family? In your opinion, what qualities do the very best doctors possess?
They have strong education and training in Perry
By picking a medical professional who is Board Qualified by among the twenty-four American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Boards, you can feel confident he or she satisfies nationally acknowledged standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills to supply high quality care in a particular medical specialty. Board Certification exceeds and beyond standard medical licensure. Determining if a particular doctor is Board Qualified is quick, totally free, and simple. Just check out the ABMS site, register, and plug in the doctor’s name and city.
Mike Lipscomb, MD, an Emergency Room doctor at North Fulton Hospital in Roswell, Georgia and a physician with Apollo MD believes that doctors at the top of their fields have solid educational and training foundations to draw upon as they practice medicine. But Lipscomb also offers a warning.
“I wouldn’t put much weight on the big-name schools,” he says.
He explains that tuition expenses at these elite schools can reach well over $50,000 per year making them unrealistic options for many medical students.
“Many state schools are less than a third of this,” he continues. “High price doesn’t correlate to a better education. Some of the best physicians I know went to large state universities for school, and they made the choice to come out with as little debt as possible.”
“And I wouldn’t put much stock in research,” says Lipscomb. “Being good in the lab doesn’t necessarily correlate to being clinically competent.”
Their knowledge and experience:
“When seeking a physician for myself or family, I regard credentials as a bare minimum and the physician’s experience as a second layer, depending on the nature of care required,” remarks Adedapo Odetoyinbo, MD, SFHM, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Hospital Medicine at Emory Johns Creek Hospital in Georgia. “Experience plays a key role when the need is more technical in nature or when decisions need to be made quickly in an emergency situation. More important to me than research itself, is the physician’s ability to integrate research results and evidence-based medicine into their everyday practice.”
Odetoyinbo refers to the doctor’s practical ability to decipher a puzzle-to select pieces of knowledge from his or her education and experiences and correctly apply them to the situation at hand. In the physician’s pursuit to protect and restore a patient’s well-being, knowledge enhances reasoning and rational decision-making, and experts agree that some doctors are simply better than others at applying what they know.
They are excellent communicators:
Many of the experts polled remarked that the best of the best have a toolbox full of excellent soft skills-those personal attributes and qualities that enhance an individual’s one-on-one interactions and performance.
“What separates the good doctors from those we consider top docs is their ability to listen to patients-to really hear them and respond to what they are saying,” says Cindy Hardy, a Physician Relations Manager at North Fulton Hospital who worked as a nurse for years.
She keeps in mind that master doctors permit clients to set the tempo for the first couple of minutes of an interaction while listening and gathering important info. Just then, do they react. A research study released in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association in 2005 (Travaline,. Ruchinskas, and D’Alonzo) found that in most cases, effective. patient-physician communication can improve a client’s health as. quantifiably as lots of drugs. Patients who comprehend their physicians are. more likely to acknowledge illness, comprehend their treatment. alternatives, customize their habits appropriately, and follow their medication. schedules. ” And the excellent ones interact with the client and. the household,” notes Hardy. “The great ones pay attention to input and speak at a. level ensuring everyone in the space comprehends exactly what’s going on, which. is particularly important when a doctor, client, and patient’s. household are discussing a plan of care.”. Dr. Robert Campbell, Chief. of Cardiac Services at the Kid’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart. Center adds that excellent doctors normally surround themselves with staff. members who are committed to listening, as well. ” Excellent. interaction assists support our team culture,” Campbell states. “Provided. high volume, high patient acuity, and high client throughput-both. inpatient and outpatient-it’s clear that nobody single supplier can. function alone. Therefore, it is necessary that we work as a cohesive. group which needs outstanding interaction to coordinate our. efforts.”.
They are compassionate:
Top docs not only maintain technical competence, but also nourish and exercise humanistic qualities-kindness, warmth, and compassion-when a patient needs it most.
“Again, the credentials are a given,” says Debbie Keel, Chief Executive Officer of North Fulton Hospital. “But when a patient isn’t feeling well, or they are afraid, or they are facing long, expensive care and are concerned about the costs, they need compassion, and the very best doctors have a compassionate presence about them.”
Keel, a mother and grandmother herself, encourages her staff to see patients in a different light.
“I say, ‘That’s your mother in that bed,'” she adds. “Top doctors treat their patients with the same compassion that they would have with their own family members.”
But showing compassion is harder today given that doctors are stretched thin and must care for more patients than ever during the course of the day.
“We can’t create more hours in the day,” she says. “It is hard to show their caring sensitive sides when they only have a few minutes with a patient, but the most-respected doctors do it.”
Best ethical standards:
All physicians pledge to promote and encourage the highest level of medical ethics, a system of moral principles that apply values and judgements to the practice of medicine. But most healthcare experts say that ethics go far beyond a doctor’s moral obligations. Ethics encompass how they perform when no one is looking and how they treat others.
“When I interview physicians who are joining us, I tell them they will not survive long if they are lazy or unethical,” says Steve Waronker, MD, Department Chair of Anesthesiology at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. “I also tell them that if they cannot live by the Golden Rule and treat the environmental services employee as well as they treat the CEO, they need not apply.”
Indeed, many doctors-especially the really great ones-view the Hippocratic Oath as a sacred covenant. By reciting it, physicians swear to practice medicine honestly, avoid acts of impropriety or corruption, keep conversations confidential, among many other codes of moral conduct. It’s their guide to ethical behavior.
Among other attributes that transform good doctors into truly great ones are intuitive perception-a sixth sense, accessibility, common sense, bedside manner, and a doctor’s willingness to be a team player. But perhaps it’s a doctor’s ability to be multifaceted and multidimensional that makes some shine more brightly than others in Perry Louisiana .