Dr. Thaddeus Bell, a family practice physician, describes the characteristics of a good physician.
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What are the common characteristics of a good doctor? Dr. Thaddeus Bell: Well, the characteristic as of a good physician are many but the ones that people pay most attention to are a good physician is thorough, a good physician is compassionate and forthright and respectful and then here recently we’ve come up with come up with the new term called “clue management” and that means, a physician who can explain information in a way that is important to the patient and then physicians who follow up in a timely fashion and finally, physicians who uses state of art of medical practice. Now, if we go back and we discuss those things, of course, a thorough physician is a physician who is not going to leave any stone unturned when he is working up your medical problem. For an example, there is a pretty common way of working up and when I say working up, I mean, putting the problem together so that the diagnosis will be easy to understand and so that if some physician had to come behind you, they would know exactly what you are talking about. So, one would be hypertension, that is the diagnosis. So that means that that physician would try to find, do a good history, do a good physical exam and do all of the standard of care, the kinds of test that you would need to have in order to document that diagnosis. So that is what I mean when I say being thorough. Compassionate, I think I don’t need to say a lot of about that. That means that if you have a bad medical problem, that physician would be able to show a tremendous amount of care for you in spite of what the problem is and still tell you the truth about the problem and that is what I mean when I say forthright. Patients talk a lot about physicians not explaining to them exactly what is wrong with them and that is what meant by clue management. In my own experience, I have found out that it does take tremendous amount of time and it does take a certain amount of skill to be able to not use four syllable words that we physicians are accustomed to using to explaining something to a patient that may not have but a third rate education. So, it does take a significant amount of skill to be able to do that. And then of course, all patients want to thank that the doctor has used the standard of care and the most recent medical equipment, have done the most recent medical test to verify what the diagnosis is. So, all of those things go to make up what I call a good physician.
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