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Finding the right doctor

Finding the Right Doctor

Finding the right doctor can make a huge difference in your loved one.  A doctor that is passive may not push the patient enough, and a doctor that is too aggressive may cause your loved one to feel too overwhelmed.

Here are a few characteristics that you want to look for in a great doctor.

1.  Your doctor needs to be an active learner. Your doctor should be actively learning more about COPD and new treatments.  Someone who is attending the conferences that present new studies and research will not become stagnant.  If you have a doctor that is a constant student, you also have someone that is not satisfied with the status quo.

2.  Your doctor needs to have good “bedside manner.” This is something that becomes evident over time.  However, if you see signs of a poor attitude or if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable, you might want to find someone else, sooner rather than later.  It is hard to absorb all of the information from your doctor, if you are closed off because of poor “bedside manners.”

3.  Your doctor needs to be passionate about their patients’ well-being. Sometimes there are doctors that will assess the situation and prescribe medications without much thought beyond the office visit.  Then there are the doctors that will stand in the gap between your loved one and poor situations at the hospital, dig through samples to help alleviate the strain of the cost of some of the best medications, or hold your hand as hard decisions need to be made.  Just as all patients are different, doctors are different too and may show their care for the patient in different ways.  You are looking for the right fit that works with your family.

4.  Your doctor needs to be an aggressive fighter. You need a doctor that is willing to aggressively fight this disease with every method available.  There are medications, exercises, transplants and reduction surgeries to be considered, and you need to know that the doctor is willing to fight for your loved one.

Mom’s pulmonary doctor was tough.  She rarely used extra words just for fluff, but there was such an incredible level of respect that we had for her that we were able to trust her completely.  She was the perfect fit for mom and me.  However, my dad did not have the same kind of relationship with her.  He needed a different kind of communication.  He needed things explained to him differently.  You need to remember that this is okay.  The most important thing is the patient-doctor relationship.  If your loved one, the patient, is not comfortable with the pulmonologist, it is time to look for someone else.  Sometimes it is as easy as finding someone else within the medical group, and sometimes it will require changing offices completely.  Just do what it takes to find the right doctor for your family, and once you find the right doctor, commit to doing as much of what is prescribed as possible.  A great doctor has no power to help the patient that will not listen.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • sshep3
    3 years ago

    My dr. Seems more interested in sleep apnea. I told her I don’t have it but she still wanted to test me. I said no. She seemed irritated with my answer. She seems to be in a hurry to leave the room even when I keep asking questions on my list and trying to make notes of her answers. I always request a copy of the notes she entered during the appointment but there is rarely any usable info there. My questions get better info coming from her. I’m not totally pleased with her even tho I’ve been a patient for about 16 months.
    Any others with similar thoughts. I’d love some input.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi sshep3 and thanks for your post. Hopefully, other community members will share their experiences as you requested. In view of the concerns you have with your uncaring and distant physician, you may want to consider finding a new physician who is more to your way of thinking. I thought this article (which will supplement Tonya’s post in this ‘story thread’) might shed an additional light on that topic: All the best, Leon (site moderator)

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