Your health should be a priority and it’s understandable to want a doctor who you trust and get on with well. Hopefully, you won’t need to see a doctor too often, but if you do become ill or you need treatment or advice about health issues, it is good to know that you can see a doctor with whom you have a good relationship. A doctor holds a very important role in society and patients should feel comfortable talking to their doctor and sharing concerns about their health, symptoms and personal information without feeling like they are being judged or they are wasting their doctor’s time.
So, choosing the right doctor is really important, but how do you go about finding the right doctor for you?
Do some research
If you are having private treatment, you have a choice of clinics and doctors; you do also have a choice now with the NHS, but this may be more limited and you may find that there are waiting lists for the most popular hospitals.
There is a wealth of information online about clinics and the doctors they employ; if you have a clinic in mind, you can search the website to find details of the doctors that work in the field you require; if you need treatment for a specific illness or you are looking into complementary therapies or services such as counselling or hypnotherapy, you can look under tabs for different departments of the clinic to find the doctors that are available for your specific needs.
Most clinic and hospital websites contain information about the doctor’s training and qualification, their past employment and their areas of interest or expertise; there are often lots of sub-specialities within a field of medicine and you may find a doctor has expertise in a sub-speciality which is appropriate to you (for example, an orthopaedic consultant deals with injuries such as fractures and trauma cases where there has been damage to the skeleton, but a doctor may have a special interest in knee injuries).
Book a consultation
A consultation is an opportunity for you to get to know your doctor, to talk to them about your health, your medical history and your current symptoms (if this is applicable) rather than a walk in doctors. During the consultation, your doctor will ask several questions and you also have the opportunity to talk to them and ask them any questions or you have or share any worries you have about your health or about treatment that you have been advised to have.
If you see a doctor and you do not feel comfortable with them or you find that you cannot establish a very positive relationship with them, you do not need to panic; you can always change doctor and see a different doctor and this will not reflect badly on you.
Some people prefer to see a male or a female doctor; you have the choice and you don’t need to feel awkward or demanding asking to see a particular doctor.