Dr. Richard Shames
For those who might feel ambivalent about their present doctors, we have provided a questionnaire. We hope it helps you reflect on what to look for in your caregivers, and how to move ahead wisely in choosing the best doctors for you.
1. Is your doctor courteous to you, and supportive in general?
2. Does your doctor inspire you to want to do your best in relation to your health?
3. Is your doctor responsive and helpful with your anxieties, willing to answer your questions prior to procedures or prescriptions?
4. Does your doctor present very current research and valuable information (rather than seeming that he/she has been doing things the same way for many years without change)?
5. Does your doctor do a thorough job of physical, mental, emotional, and possibly even spiritual assessment in addition to relying on blood tests?
6. Is he/she willing to view you as an individual, perhaps with your own unique ranges of normal for certain tests?
7. Does your doctor generally present concerns about your health in a positive manner (one that avoids blaming you for your health problems, and also avoids providing the scariest worst-case scenarios immediately)?
8. Does your doctor seem interested and act supportive when you mention vitamins or other natural protocols?
9. Will your doctor review materials you've brought in from your own research, such as a medical journal article or a respected health book?
10. Does your doctor view you as equal partner in health care team?
11. Does your doctor answer your questions to your satisfaction, without leaving you feeling dismissed or brushed off.
12. Does your doctor ask about your wishes, preferences, and beliefs prior to coming up with a plan?
13. Will your doctor sign prescription slips to refer you to complementary practitioners of your choice?
14. Are the staff members in your doctor's office respectful and helpful? Is the environment conducive to healing?
15. Has your doctor been forthright and cooperative about your requests for ancillary treatments?
Scoring Your Questionnaire:
If you answered NO to three or more of the above questions, we recommend that you consider "shopping" for a better match. For some people, including those who are especially sensitive, having even one "NO" answer in the list above could be sufficient to warrant a reconsideration of your primary and related practitioners.
The above material has been excerpted from our book Feeling Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled? (Hudson Street Press/Penguin 2005 hardcover 2006 paperback).