Health Care

9 Traits to Consider When Looking for a New Doctor

A male doctor examining a male patient.
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Choosing a new health care provider is one of the most important health decisions you can make.

We asked members of our medical team what traits to look for when choosing a new physician. Here are some qualities to consider as you search for a provider who’ll be the right fit for you.

1. Is Dedicated to Cleanliness and Safety

Choosing a provider who is passionate about the cleanliness of their office and the safety of their team members and patients is critical, especially right now. At all AdventHealth facilities, we're employing enhanced safety measures and protocols to protect you, including:

  • Universal mask use for all team members, patients and visitors
  • Social distancing measures, like spacing between chairs
  • Separate waiting and treatment areas for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Enhanced sanitation measures to keep our offices clean and safe at all times

Feel free to ask about protective measures at your doctor's office when you book your next appointment.

2. Spends Time With You During Your Visit

Whether you schedule an appointment for a video visit or are visiting the office in person, you'll want to search for a provider who is willing to spend time with their patients.

When it comes to addressing your health concerns, faster isn't always better.

It takes time to listen to, diagnose and prescribe the best treatment for a patient. Your doctor may ask lots of questions and spend additional time with you to ensure they have a strong understanding of your situation and are prescribing the best treatment available.

3. Stays Up to Date on Research and Health Trends

A good doctor stays informed of the latest breakthroughs in the field and shares the knowledge with patients in ways you can understand.

Ask questions during your visit about treatments or medications, and be sure to speak up if you don't understand the answer. Your doctor should help guide you through your health care decisions and empower you with information during your appointment.

4. Acknowledges Your Concerns Without Judgment

You should be able to talk about sensitive topics that affect your health, from weight gain to sexual health issues, without feeling judged.

Sometimes these topics can be uncomfortable, and your provider should make you feel like you can come to them with questions or issues. If you feel you're being criticized for your lifestyle choices or your concerns are being dismissed, look for someone else.

5. Is Easy to Contact

Look for a provider with office hours that work with your schedule and who has a team to help manage their appointments. A friendly front-office staff means your phone calls will be returned promptly and that you can easily schedule or cancel an appointment.

Depending on your needs, you may also want to look for a doctor who offers virtual care or online doctor's appointments.

6. Respects Your Time

When you make an appointment, you shouldn't have to wait a long time to be seen. There's always going to be some wait or times when an unforeseen emergency will arise, but your doctor shouldn't be constantly late or rush through appointments. Also, you should have enough time to ask questions, so you understand your condition and treatments.

7. Is Sincere and Empathetic

Everyone wants a doctor who genuinely cares, so you and your family can share questions or concerns openly. Your doctor's bedside manner should make you feel comfortable during appointments.

8. Is an Active Listener

You want a provider who actively listens, attempts to understand you and how your condition affects you, and provides information in terms you can understand. Before you leave the exam room, your doctor should ask if you understood what was discussed and, if not, clarify the information for you.

9. Earns Your Trust and Comfort

These may be the two most important traits you'll want in a doctor. You want someone you feel comfortable with and can trust with your personal health care questions and issues.

Find Your AdventHealth Provider

Knowing the qualities of a good doctor can help ensure that you and your family get the care you need without unnecessary worries. Learn more about our primary care and to find a trusted doctor near you.

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