What characteristics are important in choosing a doctor? For me, the choice may not be mine to make such as in the case of a referral. If I trust the doctor who is making the referral, I need go no further.
Otherwise, two important factors to me in selecting a physician are the recommendations of friends and the education of the doctor. I would prefer a doctor educated at a nice prestigious university rather than at an online medical school. Is that really too much to ask?
But the most significant factor in retaining a doctor, which is never discovered until the day of the first appointment, is the assortment and variety of waiting room magazines. Now let’s be honest. Do we really want to spend hours in a waiting room filled with nothing to read but Field and Stream and Popular Mechanics? What does that reveal about the compassion and thoughtfulness of the doctor and his staff? I need a selection including magazines such as People, Newsweek and/or Time, and perhaps Reader’s Digest. I give bonus points if the magazines are fairly current—at least two years young.
I am never happy to be seated in a physician’s waiting room, so a pleasant diversion makes my experience less stressful. Since I always have the option to surf the Internet on my phone, a considerate physician will have the Wi-Fi password available for my use displayed in the waiting room. This shows my doctor is thinking of not only his data plan but that of his patients.
So there you go. Recommendations, education, great magazines, and free wi-fi. That’s how I find and keep a doctor.