What Makes a Good Patient-Doctor Relationship?

What Makes a Good Patient-Doctor Relationship?

Living with pulmonary hypertension (PH) for the past 14 years has been a challenge, to say the least. Along this journey, an important relationship for me has been with my PH specialist. I started out with a few different doctors before finding an actual PH specialist who “vibes” with me. I am happy that we have a good relationship. You may be wondering what that looks like.

Why we need a good PH specialist

Since it is such a rare and complicated disease, having a doctor who is familiar with PH and the actual disease process is important. Knowledge of the variety and classes of medications and symptoms is equally important. Keeping up with the latest research and innovations in the PH world is also of high priority.

Whether you are a recently diagnosed PH patient or a “well-seasoned” patient, you can always change doctors. Looking for help? The Pulmonary Hypertension Association is an excellent place to start. It may take a few tries to find a rare disease specialist who you feel is the right fit. You’ll get there!

I like to think that we are the best advocates for our bodies. We are in the driver’s seat. This is why we must have a positive relationship with our PH medical team. Living with this disease is tough enough and can be overwhelming. By maintaining a good doctor-patient relationship, we can decrease the stress and anxiety we face.

It’s always best to know what we are dealing with. Maintaining an open and honest relationship with our specialist and team can make a huge difference in our lives.

Traits to look for in a PH specialist

What makes a good doctor-patient relationship? Personally, I like to know that my doctor is well educated and stays up to date on the newest research. I prefer that my doctor be a part of a team that works in a PH clinic setting. My doctor should be open to listening to me as I voice my concerns. As patients, we know what our bodies need.

I want to feel comfortable with, as well as confident in, my doctor. My life is in the doctor’s hands. I don’t know about you, but that one factor makes this relationship high-priority.

When researching this topic, I came across this simple but informative list of “soft skills” that a physician should have. Although it was written for doctors, it mentions many of the traits I look for in my own PH team.

As I mentioned, it took several tries for me to find a PH specialist whom I can trust and communicate my needs to. I also trust him with my life. Finding that right fit can be tough.

What challenges have you met when trying to find a PH specialist? What are some traits you look for in your search for a PH specialist? Please share in the comments below. 

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Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.

2 comments

  1. Mary Candace Borden says:

    I just relocated and have to see a new pulmonologist next month. I am anxious about that so this is a very timely topic for me! I have always relied on my gut instinct but any thoughts are welcome and appreciated!

    • Jen Cueva says:

      Mary, I have been there, I know that relocating is tough enough. Finding a new doctor often can become overwhelming.I, too become anxious when faced with these decisions. I think that following your gut, as you mention is important. Remember, if the first doctor isn’t the best fit for you, move on. I would also suggest making a list of questions or traits that you’re looking for and discuss these at your first appointment. Good luck to you and know you’re not alone.

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