The Exceptional Doctor's Visit

I am not only a friend of Dr. Oz, I am a fan. Recently, on The Dr. Oz Show, I witnessed a spirited discussion on what patients want from their doctors. After 19 years in private practice, I have concluded that there are 3 things that make a doctor’s visit exceptional:1. Take a Seat! Both the doctor and patient at some point during the encounter must sit down. A doctor that does not sit down is like a guest in your home that does not take off their jacket. There is a sense that the person is more interested in leaving than staying. If you listen long enough, patients will “tell” you their diagnosis. So a wise physician will “take a seat.”2. Healing HandsSense of touch is nowhere more powerful than in the doctor-patient relationship. Touch is not only an important part of any medical exam, it is important to make a literal connection. We shake hands upon meeting to convey trust, balance and equality. What 3 better qualities to have between you and your doctor. Beware the MD that doesn’t make the time for a formal greeting.

Posted on | Scott K. Forman, MD | Comments ()

I am not only a friend of Dr. Oz, I am a fan. Recently, on The Dr. Oz Show, I witnessed a spirited discussion on what patients want from their doctors. After 19 years in private practice, I have concluded that there are 3  things that make a doctor’s visit exceptional:

1. Take a Seat!

Both the doctor and patient at some point during the encounter must sit down. A doctor that does not sit down is like a guest in your home that does not take off their jacket. There is a sense that the person is more interested in leaving than staying. If you listen long enough, patients will “tell” you their diagnosis. So a wise physician will “take a seat.”

2. Healing Hands

Sense of touch is nowhere more powerful than in the doctor-patient relationship. Touch is not only an important part of any medical exam, it is important to make a literal connection. We shake hands upon meeting to convey trust, balance and equality. What 3 better qualities to have between you and your doctor. Beware the MD that doesn’t make the time for a formal greeting.

3. Prepare Your Chief Complaint
When I call an attorney, or any other paid consultant, I routinely take 10-20 minutes to formulate my exact question. Vague rambling questions, get vague rambling answers. If you don’t ask your question, your consultant will waste your time and money answering their questions. View your doctor’s visit as your time, not theirs.  Your chief complaint is exactly that, your one most burning question. At some point in the conversation, a good doctor will ask, "Do you have any more questions?" This way, no matter how much time was spent on the visit, you will be provided the opportunity to ask your question. My advice: be prepared.

All MDs are knowledgeable; look for these 3 essential strategies to determine if your doctor is exceptional.

Blog written by Scott K. Forman, MD
Dr. Scott Forman is a board certified orthopedic surgeon whose specialty interests include sports medicine of the knee, shoulder,...