Often Missed Qualities of Great Doctors


Two questions that patients should ask far more than they do are;

 “How often have you seen, diagnosed, and treated someone with symptoms like mine,” and, “how successful were you at diagnosing and treating the related illness or condition?”

After a review of countless articles on top and best doctors including related research studies on what qualities make a good doctor, it’s shocking how few mention the doctor’s recent experience or success at diagnosing and treating the condition or illness. Yet, doctors who diagnose and treat a specific illness or disease frequently perform better than other doctors without similar experience, and the outcomes have a greater variation among low-volume clinicians. [i]

Experience is not the only key quality that is often missing in the links presented on page one of major search engine results.

Here’s a list of four key qualities that are often missed, yet are very important if you want the best outcome possible from your doctors and clinicians ;

  1. Your clinician has recent and successful experience diagnosing and/or treating your illness or condition. The higher the volume the better, in most cases.
  2. You have access to your clinician and/or their staff and support whenever needed; 24/7.
  3. Your primary doctors or their staff coordinate your medical information and care plans with other clinicians, and your care providers. This is especially important during transitions from one care setting to another. Specially after a hospital or acute care discharge.
  4. Your clinicians and/or their staff will help you understand your financial obligations as you consider your options for tests, treatments, and care.

No doubt that research indicating that clinician confidence, empathy, humanity, personality, honesty, respect, curiosity, and thoroughness are among the key qualities of an ideal doctor are all relevant.

Although, it’s hard to believe that a doctor with all the qualities mentioned in the previous paragraph would be more ideal than a doctor without all of them who had successfully diagnosed and treated 100% of their patients, was available to answer your questions 24/7, had staff that coordinated all your healthcare needs, and made sure that you understood the financial implications of your options given your health insurance and personal circumstances.

Learn more about how to get your doctor working as your partner.

[i] Institute of Medicine. 2000. Interpreting the Volume-Outcome Relationship in the Context of Healthcare Quality: Workshop Summary. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. https//doi.org/10.17226/1005

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