Qualities That I Look For In A Great Healthcare Provider
I previously wrote about red flags in healthcare providers and how to know when to say no. But it is just as important to find a doctor that is better than good, who excels in the area I need help with. These are the qualities that I look for in a great healthcare provider.
Someone who is willing to be my advocate
Navigating the healthcare industry is challenging. A great doctor is someone who understands the system and is willing to go to bat for me if needed. Doctors talking directly to doctors can be more effective than trying to navigate through healthcare administration myself.
For instance, I recently moved and needed a new dermatologist. When my new doctor’s staff scheduled me four months out, my current dermatologist was able to directly contact my new dermatologist and explain to her why I needed an immediate appointment. I did not need to miss treatment for HS because my doctor was willing to advocate for me.
Find someone who will have a conversation with me
A great doctor will sit down and talk to me. They will actively listen to what I am saying and allow time for me to talk. Doctors have to work within time constraints so having a good conversation in a short time can be challenging, however, it is important to make a safe space where I feel comfortable to share my concerns. One of my favorite doctors always ended our conversations with “what else?”. This simple phrase opened the floor for me and allowed space and time for a longer conversation. I never felt like he was rushing to the next appointment. I felt comfortable in that space to share various health concerns, not just about HS.
Someone who knows recent HS research
HS is a relatively new field of study. Medical research on HS is constantly new and changing. A great healthcare provider will stay on top of this research to understand all of the aspects of HS and HS treatment. They will share that research with me in a way that I can understand.
When I look for a great doctor, I seek out a doctor who is knowledgeable about this research. I feel validated when the doctor who is treating me understands the implications of HS and HS treatment.
Know what you are worth and don’t settle for less
You may find a good doctor, but are they what you need? Do they excel in the areas you need help with? We all deserve to have great doctors on our team that fill our health needs. It took me a long time to realize this for myself and now I want to scream it from the rooftops: If you do not feel like a doctor is a good fit, you are allowed to find another one.
Over the past several years, I have learned to seek out doctors who are good at conversation, will be my advocate, are knowledgeable about my issues, and make me feel comfortable. This process definitely takes time, energy, and money, but when I find a great doctor, it makes a huge difference in my care.
Where did you first hear about hidradenitis suppurativa?