To the editor:
The article on “How to choose a doctor” (Journal-World, Jan. 10), while well written and filled with valuable and reliable information, neglected one important element to explore, and that is office staff. From the receptionist to the nurse, they are all important to a satisfying doctor-patient relationship.
Is the office easy to contact, or is the phone always tied up and the nurse or doctor inaccessible? Are calls returned in a timely manner, and does the staff treat you with respect? Does the staff recognize urgent requests which may need a “work-in” appointment? Is whoever does the billing cooperative, sympathetic and helpful? Is scheduling planned so that there is no undue wait to see the doctor? My philosophy was that the patient’s time is as important to them as my time was to me.
I practiced family practice here for 43 years and had a wonderful and grateful group of patients, some for that entire period. But do you know what my patients wanted to know about my departure? Who would my remarkable and caring nurse, Debbie Miller, be working for because they wanted to follow her. She worked for me during the entire last half of my practice and she was a jewel. I knew it and my patients certainly knew it too.
It’s a good sign when a nurse stays with her doctor over a long haul and when the patient can relate to her (or him) as well as the doctor with whom she works.
Good luck in finding your “medical home.”
Dr. Phillip Godwin,