A primary care physician welcoming a new patient.

7 Traits of an Excellent Primary Care Doctor

Your health is important, so why would you choose anything less than the best primary care physician (PCP)? When selecting a healthcare provider, there are some key traits to look for in order to find the best of the best. 

The Importance of a Good Primary Care Physician

There are many reasons you might pay a visit to your primary care physician – afterall, your family physician is the go-to person for any health concerns or medical problems and is the doctor you see most regularly throughout your life. That means they’re a key player in your wellness!

Since your PCP plays such a vital role, you need to make sure that they’re the best primary care doctor for your medical needs. Let’s take a look at what makes a clinician superior at their job.

The Seven Signs of a Good Doctor

It takes more than just a medical degree to be a good doctor. Health care is a sensitive issue for many, and a patient’s need to be heard and cared for is an essential part of their well-being. While having knowledge of preventive practices and internal medicine means a doctor is able to provide patient care, it doesn’t mean that just any general practitioner is going to be the right fit for you and your family members.

There are seven traits that a primary care physician should possess before you choose to entrust them with your well-being.

1. Great Patient Relationships

When searching for a primary care physician, you need to look for someone who can provide more than just family medicine.

When it comes to primary care doctors, the longer the relationship, the better the patient’s care. When searching for a new primary care provider, find a doctor who has solid, long-lasting patient relationships.

If a doctor is always losing patients, or only ever treats new patients, this may be a sign that they’re not great at maintaining patient relationships. If, however, patients stay with that PCP for a long time, and hold them in high regard, you’re on the right track.

2. Good Communication Skills

Communication is essential for providing accurate, urgent care. As such, primary care providers need to be skilled at telling you the information you need to hear in a timely way.

They also need to be able to communicate clearly. Medical care can often include complex terminology, but your family doctor should be able to tell you information about your well-being in plain terms. It’s also important that when they do so, they speak to patients with care, sensitivity, and respect.

And, perhaps most important of all, good family doctors have to listen. It should matter to them what old and new patients have to say during their medical consultations. If your primary care physician doesn’t listen to your health concerns, then it can damage your well-being.

3. Good Bedside Manner

Good bedside manner is key in developing a good doctor/patient relationship and is a major component to delivering great medical care.

In some cases, a primary care provider may be good at communicating but still lack the personal touch that truly makes a good doctor a good doctor. Bedside manner involves being warm and welcoming when talking with patients and providing patient care.

If a primary care provider is rushed, cold, or distant with new patients, those patients will not feel cared for. This can impact the doctor/patient relationship and the overall quality of medical care.

4. Collaborative Decision-Making

The patient’s care plan is the patient’s care plan. New patients need to be treated as active members in developing their treatment plans so that they feel like part of the decision-making process when it comes to their health care.

When doctors acknowledge that patients are the experts of their own bodies, and take time to discuss health care decisions with them, the quality of patient care is better overall.

Great primary care doctors should also collaborate with other members of the patient’s health care team. If the patient is following with cardiology or a mental health counselor, the patient’s primary care provider should be in the know when it comes to the care plans of those doctors. This type of proactive approach is known as an integrated health care system, and it leads to better patient care results.

5. Empathetic Environment

Good health care requires a positive environment. People feel vulnerable when voicing health concerns and when dealing with medical issues. It’s important for a good family physician to handle patient care with empathy.

It’s also important that the staff at your PCP’s medical center share that empathetic spirit, from the office staff to the nurse practitioners or physician assistants. Feeling safe sharing sensitive information directly impacts patient well-being.

6. On-Going Growth of Knowledge and Competency

A good primary care physician should continue seeking out new medical knowledge even after they graduate from medical school.

When selecting a primary care physician, make sure that you are selecting a family physician who is curious and enthusiastic about new medical technologies, discoveries, and other fields of medicine.

Medical knowledge and treatment is rapidly evolving, and for you and your family members to receive the best care possible, you need a family physician who is continually learning about the best practices in the field. 

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7. Organized and Clean Doctor’s Office

No matter how likable or empathetic your primary care physician is, it won’t make up for a doctor’s office that is in disarray, or worse, unsanitary.

Not following proper sanitary practices can impact patient care by making sick patients sicker. A primary care physician should be using sterilized equipment during your checkups and dispose of used materials appropriately.

Find Your Next Primary Care Physician With Meridian HealthCare

If you’re looking for a great primary care physician to take care of you and your family member’s health concerns, then you’ve come to the right place.

Meridian HealthCare is staffed with PCPs who have all the traits of the best primary care doctors. Caring, empathic, and always growing in their field, Meridian HealthCare’s primary care providers treat your well-being as a priority… because it is! Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let Meridian HealthCare become a part of your family.