Why are we so afraid to break up with a bad doctor? We’ll feign illness or screen our calls to avoid another bad date but we’ll settle into a long-term relationship with a doctor who can’t even remember our name. So I ask, are you being picky enough when it comes to selecting the doctor who will be all up in your goods?

    I know you may feel limited in your choices because the sad truth is that our decision-making is so heavily influenced by the type of insurance we have. Let’s be real. The pickings are slim; so much so that I once chose a doctor strictly based on the fact that it was the only name I could pronounce.

    In a perfect world where logic prevails, we should be able to see each doctor’s resume. And call me crazy but I’d also like to know my physicians track record. I happen to know from experience that doctors are human just like the rest of us. They have addictions, mental health issues, character defects, and poor judgment that can seriously impact their quality of care.

    So I suggest you date your doctor. Not in the literal sense but try screening them the same way you would a potential partner. Here are some signs that will help you to determine if this is a doctor you should consider committing too.

    1. If there are more pharmaceutical reps in the waiting room than there are patients, you need to quit your doctor like a bad habit. When your doctor is being wined and dined by a drug maker, it can have a major impact on their treatment choices. They may decide to prescribe a medication to boost their numbers…not because it’s what’s best for you.
    2. If you are seeing your doctor for weight loss and they are heavier than you, that’s a sign you need to keep looking. That also goes for doctors who smoke. You can get more background info on a doctor at DocInfo.
    3. Cut them loose if they are always trying to up-sell you to get test you don’t need or unnecessary expensive treatments. Who do they think they are—mechanics?
    4. Continue your search if they are super judgmental or critical of your beliefs. And I don’t mean your belief that it’s okay to have a daily cheeseburger. I’m talking about your personal beliefs on sexuality, monogamy, religion, or treatment options. Having the letters M.D. behind their name doesn’t entitle a person to be sanctified and preachy.
    5. If you’ve waited for an hour and the doctor spends less than ten minutes with you AND didn’t answer all your questions, you need to move on. You deserve the time and attention of your physician. A busy doctor is not always the sign of a good doctor.
    6. If the pens, mugs, totes, prescription pads, and candies at the reception window all bare a Pfizer logo (or any drug maker logo for that matter), they have gone to the dark side. Leave quickly before they start to ply you with free samples.

    The Wrap Up

    Don’t settle. You’ve got options. Good doctors are out there. You may have to go on a lot of first visits but keep swiping right until you find the right one.

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