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7 Signs of a Bad Doctor--Useful if you're looking for a doc

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    7 Signs of a Bad Doctor--Useful if you're looking for a doc

    Looking for a good doctor in pregnancy? I think that these tips are helpful. And unfortunately, by and large, I've found Hong Kong doctors to be chronic offenders when it comes to:

    An indifferent or uncaring attitude
    Doesn't listen, unresponsive
    Always pushes further tests and procedures
    Not respectful of your time


    7 Signs of a Bad Doctor
    from http://www.babycenter.com/0_7-signs-....bc?print=true
    In old movies, bad doctors are easy to identify – they work out of seedy offices and have a furtive, unkempt look. In real life, it's not so obvious.

    Thanks to improvements in medical education and oversight, most doctors today are well educated and have solid credentials. "The differences between good and bad are more subtle, more personal, harder to detect but just as critical for you," says George LeMaitre, a surgeon and author of How to Choose a Good Doctor.

    San Francisco Bay Area pediatrician Laurel Schultz says so-called "bad" doctors usually aren't bad people. They may be overworked, bored, or burned out – or a combination of the three. Or maybe they never liked being a doctor in the first place. "Their eyes are glazed over," says Schultz. "They've lost their intellectual curiosity. They really don't care, and it shows."

    Atlanta pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson Jennifer Shu encourages patients to trust their instincts. "Go with your gut reaction. If you don't feel good about a physician, go somewhere else. Remember that your best friend's doctor may not be right for you and your family."

    What are other good ways to recognize a bad doctor? We checked in with experts who identified seven warning signs to watch out for:

    An indifferent or uncaring attitude

    You're looking for medical care, not a new friend – so a sparkling personality probably isn't a priority when choosing a doctor. Still, it's smart to steer clear of one who is consistently cold and patronizing, or who has no memory of you from one visit to the next.

    This may sound obvious, but sometimes a prestigious medical degree, fancy address, or robust marketing campaign can conceal the fact that a physician is a lackluster practitioner. As LeMaitre points out, "caring and curing cannot be separated."

    When it comes to your child's doctor, pay attention to how he or she interacts with your child. A visit to the doctor can be a frightening experience, and a caring pediatrician or family doctor will take the time to make your little one feel comfortable.

    Look for a doc who gets down to your child's level to explain what's happening and why, and who expresses genuine warmth and interest. No matter how experienced or highly recommended your child's doctor is, if he or she dismisses your child's fears or spends most of the visit talking to you and ignoring your child, consider finding someone else.

    Doesn't listen, unresponsive

    The most highly trained and experienced doctor still needs to listen to his or her patients and be open to their feedback and concerns.

    Humility is important, says ob-gyn William Barth Jr., chief of the maternal-fetal medicine division at Massachusetts General Hospital. (Barth also chairs the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' committee on obstetrics practice.)

    "As a patient, if I go to a doctor who says, 'I know what to do, this is the only way to do it, and you should just listen to me,' I'll be out the door in 30 seconds. I want someone who takes a considered and open-minded approach, not someone who is dogmatic and overconfident," Barth says.

    Most doctors are extremely busy, but a good doctor will still take the time to answer your questions. If you're made to feel that your concerns or questions are foolish or inappropriate, it's a bad sign.

    As a patient, you have the right to expect courtesy and responsiveness, not just from your doctor but from everyone in the office – from the receptionist to the advice nurse. The doctor, or someone in the office, should respond to your phone calls in a timely manner.

    Lack of knowledge

    Consider changing doctors if yours – or your child's – doesn't seem to keep up with the latest medical literature or be aware of medical breakthroughs or other health information. Part of the job is to educate patients about their health. That means explaining the results of medical tests, keeping patients informed about drugs prescribed, and providing nutrition and other health advice.

    Don't expect your doctor to be able to respond to all your questions or diagnose every problem on the spot. But it is reasonable to expect your medical provider to find the answers and get back to you.

    If you detect a pattern of errors by your doctor or your doctor's staff – the wrong tests are ordered, for example, or messages don't get passed on – find another provider. Everyone makes mistakes, of course, but repeated oversights or routine sloppiness could indicate that your doctor makes bigger blunders as well.

    Poor recommendations

    A bad doctor is likely to have a tarnished reputation. You may need to do some detective work to make sure a doctor is up to snuff.

    Start by talking to a primary care doctor you trust, as well as friends, relatives, and co-workers who may be familiar with the doc. Check websites that provide consumer reviews of physicians, too.

    Of course, you'll make up your mind based on your experience with the doctor. But doing your homework will help reassure you that you've trusted your family's care to the right person.

    Your state medical board has information on major infractions committed by physicians in your state. Contact information for your state medical board is available at the Federation for State Medical Boards website.

    Always pushes further tests and procedures

    A doctor should recommend additional tests or procedures if they're warranted, of course, but be wary if this happens all the time.

    In some cases, doctors order additional tests out of an excess of caution, says Schultz, the Bay Area pediatrician. "It may mean they don't trust their own judgment," she says. "If your child has pneumonia and the doctor orders a chest X-ray, that's fine. But it shouldn't happen every time you come in."

    If you question the need for a procedure, get a second opinion. And if your doctor objects, consider it a red flag, says Barth, the ob-gyn.

    "When I was a brand-new doctor, I think I was a little defensive when my patients told me they were seeking a second opinion, but now I welcome it. It means the patient is thinking clearly about his or her medical care, which is a good thing," he says.

    Not respectful of your time

    How long should you expect to wait at your doctor's office? A 20-minute wait is reasonable; more than an hour is not.

    "There will be emergencies, of course, but if you routinely wait an hour or more, I'd look around for a new doctor," says Shu, the Atlanta pediatrician.

    If you're joining a new medical practice, you might want to call the office a few times and see how long you have to wait on hold before you get your questions answered.

    Tip: To avoid long waits, schedule your appointments early in the day. If you can, avoid scheduling routine checkups in the winter, during the height of the cold and flu season.

    Spotty credentials and affiliations

    Most physicians are board certified. This isn't a guarantee of competence, but it is an important seal of approval. Unless a doctor is fresh out of medical school and hasn't taken board exams yet, not being board certified is a warning sign that something's not right.

    Avoid doctors who have no hospital affiliation or are affiliated with a hospital that has bad ratings (check online healthcare sites for hospital ratings).

    Shu doesn't think that where a physician received his or her medical diploma should carry a lot of weight, however. "If a person graduated from medical school and passed their medical board exams, I think those are good enough screening tools," she says.

    While education and credentials are vital, Schultz says you shouldn't forget about personal characteristics that can be hard to measure: "The kind of doctor you are has more to do with your curiosity and compassion as an individual than anything else."

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    matemate is offline Registered User
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    if you really applied all 7 criteria in hong kong, there would be no doctor to chose from...

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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Really, MateMate? You must have seen some doozies then! While not every doctor that I've seen would score an A+ on all of the above, most would at least "pass" those criteria. Some wouldn't - those are the ones that I don't go back to. But really, the ones that I see on a more regular basis do pretty good on those 7 criteria...

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    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    You've not seen enough doctors MateMate. We have two family doctors we love! Our medical experience here with some wonderful doctors we've found through the years are even better than back in Oz./Europe.

    Of course, it comes with a price tag

    But, my recent experience at my local MCHC has also opened my eyes to the wonderful world of local nurses and doctors. And that was free!
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheQuasimother View Post
    Of course, it comes with a price tag
    Exactly........................................... .................................................. .............

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolejoy View Post
    Really, MateMate? You must have seen some doozies then! While not every doctor that I've seen would score an A+ on all of the above, most would at least "pass" those criteria. Some wouldn't - those are the ones that I don't go back to. But really, the ones that I see on a more regular basis do pretty good on those 7 criteria...
    You've found a doctor that gets a "pass" on Respecting your time ? Even with the doctor I have now, whom is the best I've come across in the 5-6 years I've been living in Hong Kong--even with an appointment I need to wait at least 1 hour or sometimes 2 to see him. I would go somewhere else but the fact is that that he actually scores quite high on the other points so I just can't bring myself to go find someone else and take that gamble. Actually, I've never been to a doctor in HK who, even with a booked appointment, would see you within 30 minutes--and that goes for every kind of doctor I've been to (heart specialist, ENT, children's doctor, obyn/gyne, GP...everything). Either I have the worst luck in all of HK (even with the "brand name" docs I've seen) or something is up....

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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I have only tried ONE GP in HK. She charges something like $150 a visit only. I make an appointment and never have to wait longer than 5-10 minutes. If I DON'T have an appointment and just want to walk in, I don't think I've had to wait for longer than 30 minutes, but that's my own fault for not having an appointment. She is not perfect but I think she's pretty good. The ONLY thing I could ever fault her on is when I shocked her by telling her about my problems in my second pregnancy she asked me "And they let you keep the baby?" - I think she just didn't know what to say though, and was trying to ask whether they suggested termination (they did, but I didn't want to terminate). Other than that, she'd get an A to A+ on all the above and her price tag is completely affordable, even if we had no insurance.

    As for ObGyn, the one who I went to never has kept me waiting more than 30 minutes, usually it's less than that.

    The only other doctor that I've been to here in HK is the dentist and he scored high on everything as well.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolejoy View Post
    I have only tried ONE GP in HK. She charges something like $150 a visit only. I make an appointment and never have to wait longer than 5-10 minutes. If I DON'T have an appointment and just want to walk in, I don't think I've had to wait for longer than 30 minutes, but that's my own fault for not having an appointment. She is not perfect but I think she's pretty good. The ONLY thing I could ever fault her on is when I shocked her by telling her about my problems in my second pregnancy she asked me "And they let you keep the baby?" - I think she just didn't know what to say though, and was trying to ask whether they suggested termination (they did, but I didn't want to terminate). Other than that, she'd get an A to A+ on all the above and her price tag is completely affordable, even if we had no insurance.

    As for ObGyn, the one who I went to never has kept me waiting more than 30 minutes, usually it's less than that.

    The only other doctor that I've been to here in HK is the dentist and he scored high on everything as well.
    Uh, oh! Now the cat's out of the bag and everyone is going to go to your GP for that cheap price and short wait time! No longer will you be able to have either! *Joking* Well, I have to say, that's pretty amazing.

    How much do you pay for you OBGYN? Is he/she also $150 HKD/consultation? That's pretty wonderful that you don't have to wait more than 30 minutes. In my book, that's remarkable. Do any other ladies out there have similar tales to tell of short wait times and cheap consultation fees? I'd be interested to hear.

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