The Most Important Quality To Look For In A Health Care Provider

Finding a health care provider may seem like a simple enough task, but there are many factors to consider when searching for the perfect fit for you or your family. You want a practitioner who is qualified in their field and can adequately treat whatever health problems may arise. But many people forget to look for more personal connections with their health care providers. According to Mindbodygreen, cultural humility is one of the most important qualities to look for in a doctor, therapist, or other health care provider.

Cultural humility refers to the "process of communal reflection to examine the root causes of suffering, with the goal of creating a more inclusive worldview." It was developed by Melanie Tervalon, MD, MPH, and Jann Murray-Garcia, MD, MPH, to target inequalities in health care that stem from bias, racism, sexism, and other cultural issues. Most health care providers won't list "cultural humility" on their websites, so it won't be a straightforward process to find someone who embodies these qualities. Your search will likely take various meetings and discussions with potential health care providers until you find someone who listens to your health concerns with an open mind and treats you with compassion and respect.

The importance of being honest with your doctor

Finding a health care provider that you trust is important for many reasons. It is crucial that you are completely honest with your doctor regarding every health concern. Unfortunately, this often does not happen. A 2018 study published by Jama Network found that 80% of participants admitted that they hid some information from their health care provider at some point in their lives. The study leaders believed there were multiple reasons for this, but the main one was that patients admitted they didn't want to be judged by their doctors for unhealthy behaviors.

It is important that you trust your health care provider enough to be honest with them all the time. "The doctor-patient relationship should be a no-embarrassment zone where you feel comfortable to be completely honest," Michael F. Roizen, MD, told Today. "If you don't tell your doctor everything, [they] can't help you." If you feel like you can't be honest with your doctor or feel that they are not taking your health concerns seriously, you may want to consider switching physicians if possible. Your health should always be a priority.