Aug 18, 2009

Types of Doctors (Finding A Doctor: Part 1)

Magda asked how to find a new doctor on this post. She likes her current Primary Care doctor but wonders what she will do when he retires. This is a big question so I'll answer it over several posts:
First, you need to figure out what style of doc you need. Every MD has his or her own style of relating to patients. Knowing what sort of doctor you would work with best will help you choose the right one for you.

Of course doctor is special like unique snowflakes etc... but Doctor D has broken it down into five basic doctoring styles he sees often. Some doctors may combine several styles. Doctors often don't really know what their style is (Doctor D isn't sure where he fits on the list) but the doctor's patients can always tell you.

Five Doctoring Styles:
  1. The Drill Sergeant: Gives orders and expects absolute obedience. The drill sergeant is very confident and knows more about your body than you do. These doctors won't take any crap from you or anybody else. This meanness can come in handy since drill sergeants go ballistic on anyone who messes with their patients.
    • Pros: Some patients need no nonsense firmness to get results. If you trust doctors and need to be pushed to live healthy this doctor might work for you.
    • Cons: They tend to be abusive. Your opinions and feelings really don't matter to drill sergeants.
  2. The Parent: A warm, wise parental figure who watches out for you. Parent doctors want to know how you are doing and want the best for you. Parenting style medicine is more common in older doctors. These doctors kindly guide you to the healthcare decisions that they know are best for you.
    • Pros: Parent doctors are often the nicest physicians.
    • Cons: You will likely be treated like a child. The parent doctor will often make your decisions for you.
  3. The Buddy: Treats you as an equal, wants to be your friend. The Buddy doctor lets you make your own decisions and just wants to help. These doctors worry a lot about whether you like them. Buddies may give you a treatment because you want it, even if they don't think it is the best thing for you.
    • Pros: Works hard for you and treats you with respect and kindness.
    • Cons: May not give you difficult facts or ask hard questions. Sometimes passive-aggressive.
  4. The Consultant: Treats your relationship as strictly professional. The consultant's role is to give you information and provide you with treatment options. You make all the decisions. The consultant is just there to answer your questions should you have any. Consultant doctors may overwhelm you with options and the pros/cons of each. They tend to be neither angry nor friendly, but always professional.
    • Pros: Informative, always professional. Consultant doctors don't get emotionally involved which means less drama.
    • Cons: May overwhelm you with facts and options without much guidance. As long as you are making informed decisions it's no skin off the consultant's back if you live or die.
  5. The Mechanic: Sees your body as a machine that needs tune ups and repair. The mechanic doctor doesn't really recognize you as a person at all. Your medical issues are all mechanical problems to be solved. Don't expect a mechanic to talk to you much. They may speak about your body, but usually this is the doctor talking to himself in medical Latin that you probably won't understand.
    • Pros: Usually very intelligent in a scientific way. Who needs human interaction when you can have a robot doctor?
    • Cons: No real relationship. You probably won't understand a lot of what the mechanic doctor is doing for you. You could ask but the answer usually won't be in plain English.

Next Post we'll look how these doctors would work with a particular patient: Ms. Smith

1 comment:

Jane said...

I need a drill sergeant, I am really lazy and I need someone to push me :)

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