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5 Things Your Doctor Looks for in a Doctor

By: Lambeth Hochwalk

Finding a doctor you like is exactly like finding a needle in a haystack. Cut down on your research time and get the healthcare you deserve by discovering what real doctors demand from their own MDs.

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1. Knowledge About the Latest Research

"It doesn't matter to me if she went to Harvard Medical School," says Alice Chuang, MD. "What matters is what she knows now: Docs practicing at universities or academic hospitals are usually very up-to-date on new studies."

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2. Proper Certification - and a Clean Record

"I want to know that my doctor has a reasonably good reputation. She should be licensed by the state she's in and board-certified, information that's available online," notes Christina Catlett, MD, an ER physician in Baltimore. "You can also check your doctor's malpractice history by contacting your state's medical board."

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3. Strong Communication Skills

"I want a physician who's comfortable saying that she doesn't know something and who sends me copies of my test results when I ask," says Marie Savard, MD. The ability to listen -- without interrupting -- is even more important to Dr. Catlett: "You have to be able to tell your doctor everything."

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4. Healthy Habits

"They should practice what they preach -- a dermatologist who's tan, for instance, would throw me off," says Dr. Savard. Also key: hygiene. "Don't be afraid to ask your doctor if he's scrubbed up right before seeing you," says Sandra Fryhofer, MD.

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5. A Helpful Staff

"My old internist was great, but I switched to another because his office was a zoo and the support staff was inefficient, so I waited too long for appointments," says Vicki Porges, MD, a New York City pediatrician.


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