Bedside manner isn’t everything, but it’s important to find a physician you trust and feel comfortable with. In the case of your child’s doctor, your child needs to feel comfortable too.
At first glance, caring and empathy may seem less important than top-notch medical credentials or professional affiliations. But a doctor who genuinely cares about your well-being and your child’s is more likely to pay attention to symptoms and to keep investigating if a particular treatment isn’t working.
As LeMaitre says, “If you’re looking for a good physician, start by looking for a human being who cares about people.”
A warm, attentive manner can also make a big difference in seeing you through challenging situations – like when you’re giving birth or if your child is hurt.
Your child’s doctor should have a repertoire of techniques to soothe a baby, distract a squirmy toddler, or calm a nervous school-age child. Good pediatricians and family doctors know how to comfort and reassure children by getting down on their level and explaining procedures in an age-appropriate way.
“Even when my kids were really little, our pediatrician talked calmly to them and told them exactly what he was doing,” says one BabyCenter mom. “They don’t look forward to going to the doctor, but they certainly feel comfortable there.”
Studies show that having a warm and accessible doctor not only makes you a more satisfied patient, it also has another important benefit: “When patients trust their physician, they are more likely to adhere to treatment plans and follow advice,” writes physician Manoj Pawar in Family Practice Management. And that’s good news for your whole family.
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