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Published: Saturday February 22, 2014 MYT 8:46:00 AM
Updated: Saturday February 22, 2014 MYT 8:57:00 AM

Five questions to ask your GP

There are key questions one can ask to help identify the right doctor.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Your general practitioner (GP) is one of the most important person in your life as they are the ones who evaluates your health and inform you of life-changing illnesses.

Choosing your general practitioner requires effort and time. Here are the five important questions you should ask yourself before you choose your GP.

1. Location

The first question you need to ask yourself when it comes to choosing a doctor, is whether you want to have them near your home or your office.

Workers with children would prefer to have their clinics closer to home. Unless you are a workaholic who insists on heading to work when you are ill, a clinic closer to home is always a good idea, especially in cases of emergency.

2. Gender

The gender of your doctor is actually really important because health issues and treatments can become a very personal experience and  this sets the boundaries you are able to explore in terms of medical consultation.

This does not necessarily mean one has to choose a doctor of the same gender. Some women  may actually find male doctors more approachable, and male patients may be able to communicate better with female doctors.

3. Compatibility

Good chemistry with your general practitioner is essential, because without that, one will not actually be able to understand and overcome health complication issues.

The first most important thing is to have a doctor who listens to you. Someone who does not say ' I think you are having this' as soon as you walk into the room before hearing you out.

It is of utmost importance to have someone who does not assume and gives you the opportunity to explain your symptoms and how it has affected you. This addition allows a more accurate diagnosis and gives a patient some sense of security.

4. Affordability

Many doctors often say one should not be stingy when it comes to medical facilities, because it would eventually lead to larger medical bill.

However, practicality is at play here because your medical consultant is a long term commitment and you do not want to have to fork out RM200 for migraine medication.

Be reasonable but do not compromise. If you find the medicines from your neighbourhood doctor cheap but ineffective, it is time you look out for better resources, because ultimately health is wealth.

5. Competence

Though you may not literally be going under the knife of your GP, he is a critical arbiter of your health. Hence, a thorough background check before you settle in with one would be a great idea.

If you are new to a particular neighbourhood, you might want to ask around about the quality of the services offered by the doctor who has a clinic behind your house.

It would also be good if you could check on the credentials of the doctor. Most doctors who have graduated from a medical school are not shy to flaunt in in their clinic's, so go ahead and take a look at them.

 Do not be afraid to ask them questions. If they know their stuff, they will answer.

Related story:

Encountering a bogus doctor

Tags / Keywords: general practitioner, doctor, life-changing illnesses

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