Hmmm. Let’s see…I chose my ophthalmologist because he has a lot of experience with glaucoma, which happens to run in my family. He doesn’t have much of a bedside manner, and his office tends to always run late, but I only see him once a year and I always get a first-thing-in-the-morning appointment, so that’s fine.
I just lucked out with my dentist – my mother chose him while I was in college. He was young then, just starting out, working in someone else’s office. I stay with him because he’s very good, loves dentistry, loves to answer my questions, is funny, and because after 30 years, we know each other.
I go to a male gynecologist. I’ve been going to him for at least 25 years. I like him. He’s warm and kind and a good doctor. But when I needed a hysterectomy, and he wanted to do an abdoninal surgery, I went to another surgeon for a second opinion. I knew I still needed the surgery, but this man had had extensive training in laparoscopic surgery (which my gynecologist does, but to a lesser extent) and he was able to do my hysterectomy laparoscopically. No big incision! (And yes, I still have to have Pap smears after a hysterectomy.)
I’ve been going to my family practitioner for about 13 years. I happened to read his profile in the newspaper when I had recently moved back from a year in another state. My previous local doctor, a lovely man from Ireland, had retired. This doctor had spent 2 years in the Peace Corps. I liked him right away. He’s very good, up on all the latest things, warm, knows how to listen, and care, and laugh.
I work in a hospital and I know doctors aren’t all alike. I don’t want a doctor who thinks he’s God and all others are scum. I want a doctor who is competent, interested in medicine, and interested in my wellbeing. I want a doctor who will listen to my questions and give me honest, complete answers, and who realizes I am intelligent enough to understand his answers.
From things I have heard in the hospital, I know that sometimes the older, more experienced doctors are sometimes less open to new procedures and new instruments. They sometimes use old methods that take longer – meaning the patient is under anesthesia longer. They are more likely to think they are God. because that was the culture for a long time, and such things change slowly. And, alas, they are more likely to retire and leave you looking for a new doctor.