Do you remember the last time you went into a doctor’s office for something other than a personal check-up- maybe a potential life-changing procedure- and came out feeling like you were just another number? Many of you might be fortunate enough not to have had this bitter taste in your mouth, but those of you who can relate may want to re-think your next physician’s office visit.
Good beside manner; Because you personally matter. It DOES exist, and when you’re thinking about permanently altering your physical appearance, you should see a physician who not only has the specific qualifications you seek, but one who gives you the warm and fuzzies- someone you can trust. After all, nothing says trust like a relationship built on a history of reliability, advocacy, beneficence, and good will.
The doctor–patient relationship has always been and remains a critical foundation of patient care, and a satisfying doctor–patient relationship is a crucial factor in patients’ decisions to commit to a specific doctor/practice. Going back to the basics…a good doctor-patient relationship should consist of a number of things: trust, knowledge in specific medicine practiced, bedside manner, commitment, and ethics, among others. There are several things to consider when visiting a doctor’s office to inquire about a procedure:
- Are you going to personally meet with the doctor? (Naturally, we depend on a doctor’s knowledge and years of experience, and don’t want to settle for the P.A. or a pushy sales person.)
- Did the doctor make you feel comfortable? (How was his/her tone or demeanor? The office setting? Did you feel at home or nervous? Was he/she personable?)
- Did you feel rushed during your visit? (Were you left with unanswered questions?)
- Did you spend more time in the waiting room than in with the doctor? (This is one of the main complaints among many patients. After all, the patient sees this as “my time isn’t as important as the doctor’s.”
- Did your doctor make sure you understood everything he/she explained, and let you ask questions?
- Did your doctor actually listen to your concerns and provide valid feedback? (Again, were you treated as an individual? Did the doctor seem like he/she genuinely cared about your concerns? Did they relay your questions back to you?)
- How was your experience with the staff? (Your first representation of a doctor is his/her staff. You should always be greeted in a friendly, and courteous manner, and nothing less. Be cautious of staff who are unpleasant or
- How did your doctor relate to his/her staff? (This will also tell you a lot about a doctor. How well a doctor gets along with their staff (and vice versa), says a lot about mutual respect and trust. It also implies the doctor knows that each staff member is an asset to the practice.
- Did you feel pressured to purchase anything? (Did you feel like you were pushed into one direction, towards the most expensive option? Feel pressured to schedule a treatment/procedure that same day?)
- Did you leave the doctor’s office feeling like you were given a solution to your problem/concerns?
Keep this checklist in mind the next time you see a new (or even current) doctor. These are some of the most important questions you can ask yourself after an office visit- especially when considering altering your physical appearance. You should always feel like you’ve gained some additional knowledge and are satisfied with the information and proposed resolution you’ve been given.
You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Shouldn’t it always be personal when it comes to your doctor? What’s more personal than your body? Why should personal care suffer? Health care administrators, whose primary responsibility is stewardship, should not ignore the need for competence, compassion, and individualization of care (J Gen Intern Med. Jan 1999; 14(Suppl 1): S26–S33). You, after all, are an individual, and deserve to be treated as such.
At the Anderson Hair Sciences Center, we understand the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. We limit the number of weekly consultations, allowing an hour and a half for every patient, so that Dr. Anderson can be certain each patient has been given accurate, quality information and a personalized treatment plan. This lengthy time frame also allows the patient plenty of time to discuss any questions or concerns with Dr. Anderson.