My husband Sebastian and I had two of our good friends, Kao and Sara over for dinner tonight. Kao is a Chinese-American pediatrician and health policy researcher in his early thirties; he uses an "evidence-based" approach to everything. On the other hand, his partner, Sara, a petite and fiery environmental advocate, operates by intuition.
All of us were discussing dream homes and how we would go about finding one. Kao very rationally laid out all the criteria he had: location, value, cost, size, etc. Sara rolled her eyes.
"It's not that complicated," she said. "You know it when you see it."
For some people who similarly pride themselves on their intuition, this statement will ring true when it comes to finding their doctor. You know a good doctor when you see one. You also know that there are good doctors who may just not be the right ones for you. That's all quite possible.
But what about those who are more inclined to go by criteria, like Kao? Or what if you just don't know what you are looking for in a doctor? My last blog post talked about how difficult it can be to find a good doctor. What are the things you should be looking for?
I'll be addressing this in a series of posts. Here's a story I want to relate, that we discuss in our book:
One of our heroes, the Nobel prize-winner, humanist, and cardiologist Dr. Bernard Lown, likes to talk about how he went to an international conference and met a rather large Eastern European woman who was dressed in garish and what he thought was inappropriate clothing. Who is this woman at this conference of doctors and humanists, he grumbled to himself.
One of the questions posed at the conference was what makes a doctor a good doctor? This woman raised her hand and answered that a doctor is someone who makes you feel better after having seen them. Dr. Lown said that at that moment, he realized that she must be a doctor. A real doctor. A good doctor.
You go to your doctor because you want to feel better. You should find someone who helps you accomplish this goal. Some people will know it when they see it; the rest can at least begin to focus on whether your doctor is helping you to reach this very basic of demands.
More to come soon. I welcome your comments!