What to Look For in Your Health Care Practitioner

I want to guide you through the process of selecting a health care practitioner to match your needs. I’ll point out qualities to look for and those to avoid. Here are some guidelines to follow. Also use common sense combined with intuition to choose the right practitioner for you. Who you let touch your body, prescribe medications, and counsel you about vital health strategies is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

In my book on intuitive healing I discuss in detail the do’s and don’ts when evaluating or looking for a doctor. Many of us have stuck far too long with a health care practitioner when we didn’t follow our intuition on whether they were a good fit for our needs. Seek out someone who blends intuitive and technical skills implementing as many of the following guidelines from my book as possible.


Notice if your doctor:

  • Takes time to listen to you
    Does he or she pay attention and let you fully explain why you are there? Is there good eye contact or is your doctor staring down at a clipboard or a computer screen?
  • Is technically qualified
    Does your practitioner have sold credentials? For example, an MD, PhD or RN? Is he or she licensed? Is your alternative healer certified, and/or does your healer have a good track record with patients? Do you know anyone who can vouch for his or her high level of care?
  • Isn’t offended if you ask for a second opinion
    If needed, is your doctor open and non-defensive about getting another point of view? Will he or she recommend a trustworthy colleague?
  • Presents you with options and is knowledgeable about (or at least open to) alternative health techniques
    Are you told the pros and cons of a few possible treatments? If you ask, for example, about acupuncture, will your doctor react with an open mind? If you say, “Here’s an article about my condition, would you be willing to read it and discuss it with me?” How does your doctor respond?
  • Honors your intuitions and preferences about your body
    If you say, “My intuition doesn’t feel good about this plan of action,” does your doctor factor it into the decision making? Or will he or she chide you, “Be serious that’s not very scientific?” Does your doctor encourage you to know your body’s needs?


Notice if your doctor:

  • Rushes you through an office visit
    Are you interrupted by your doctor taking phone calls? Do you overhear him or her making dinner reservations or golf dates? Does your HMO doc really make those fifteen minutes count? Or is he or she abrupt? Distracted? Do you get cut off repeatedly or before you’re finished explaining why you’re there?
  • Approaches you with a demeaning “holier than thou” attitude, talking in jargon
    Are you told, “I’m the doctor. I know what’s best for you?” Does he or she insist in using complex medical terminology even though you’ve said it confuses you? Does your doctor refuse to explain things in simple terms?
  • Isn’t professionally accredited or technically skilled
    Is your doctor unlicensed? Has his or her license ever been revoked? Do you know of any complaints of wrong-doing from other patients?
  • Makes you feel guilty or foolish for asking questions
    Does your doctor dismiss or minimize your concerns remarking, “You’re overly sensitive,” or even worse, “You created your illness?” Is he or she patronizing, saying, “It’s over your head. I can’t explain your condition in a way you’d understand.”
  • Doesn’t return phone calls within twenty four hours
    When calling, are you told, “The doctor’s busy and will have to get back to you,” then doesn’t? Is he or she hard to reach during an emergency? Do you have the sense that your doctor’s always tied up with something more important than you?

It is your right to access who is the right health care practitioner for you. Taking responsibility for your choice by evaluating the above criteria will lead to a more positive and productive relationship with your doctor. The care and time you give to finding the right health care practitioner is very empowering. It allows you to become an integral part of your healing process. When you and your doctor are on the same wavelength, communication about all aspects of your health will be vastly improved.