I have noticed a theme in my life recently and wanted to share my thoughts with all of you. For those of you who don’t know, I work part time as a mental health nurse practitioner. I love my job and feel incredibly honored that patients trust me with their burdens and struggles. I find that patients often struggle to find a health care provider that they trust. Today I’m sharing with you the top ten tips I use when searching for a new doctor or health care practitioner.
Choosing an excellent healthcare provider checklist:
- They listen while you are talking
- They don’t dismiss your concerns
- They respect your autonomy
- They explain the risks and benefits to different treatment options
- They are open to unconventional treatment options
- They discuss lifestyle interventions
- They don’t talk down to you
- They treat you with respect
- They collaborate with other health care providers
- They do their research
Finding a health care provider can be challenging but just remember that you are your own health expert. No one knows your story like you do. If they don’t listen to you then don’t go back. After all, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent!
I work with individuals all the time who are reluctant to say no. Often patients feel like they can’t ask questions, or they will agree to the treatment plan the provider proposes in the office but then not actually participate because they have unaddressed concerns. Doctors and health care providers are often idolized and treated as though they know everything. This is not true. If a doctor acts like they know everything, I would highly suggest finding a new doctor. As the patient you are the ultimate decision maker in your care. This also means that it’s your job to speak up for yourself and get your questions answered!