26 May Who's the "Best Doctor?"
Who is the best doctor? Well, there can’t be only one or the rest of us would out of business. My definition of the “best” doctor is someone you can believe and trust. Simple. Nothing more.
How do we find the best doctor? We usually choose a doctor after reviewing our trusted sources of information; friends, magazines and the like. Really kind of a shot in the dark. Though we trust our friends, we really don’t know how much our friends know. Similarly, we really don’t know how doctors became included in the most recent “best of” edition of a local magazine. But we have to start somewhere.
Our Doctor’s Must Know – Many times we rely on the opinion of health care provider, be it a nurse, physician’s assistant, doctor, etc., to refer us to someone of solid reputation. Again, we don’t really know. We assume that the referring provider has excellent knowledge of all the attributes that make a “best” doctor.
What attributes make the “best” doctor? Is it intelligence, place of work, place of graduation, clinical smarts, dexterity in the operating room, plays golf well, belongs to the right church, etc.? I just don’t know. I once created a web-site that bragged that we DIDN’T operate on Tiger Woods.
There is no win/loss record – Based on all the possibilities listed above, there will always be a “better” doctor. I’m sure that you run across well meaning friends and family who are all too eager to share their opinions about the “best.” Uh, based on what? There are no statistics such as earned run average (baseball pitchers) or save-percentage (goalies) for doctors.
My point is that it is impossible to know. Whatever parameters and attributes are important to us, it is up to us to make the final decision. We have to be comfortable with the person we choose and entrust with our health care.
My recommendation has always been that the “best” doctor is that doctor that you can understand, beleive and trust. The “best” is someone that you find reassuring and easy to communicate with. God forbid if something untoward were to happen, you need to know that the “best” doctor took his time and did everything he could to do the very best for you.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Ophthalmologist/ Retina Specialist