I have had many rejections in my life. No, I am not talking about the number of girls who rejected me but the number of patients who did not get their medical procedures done by me. We have a rule of 1:5 amongst us cardiologists, which means when we advise a procedure to 5 patients, only one will turn up for the actual procedure.
Heart diseases run in a family. So on many occasions, the first contact for immediate care is the one that’s nearby but the final destination is often the family cardiologist. A concept that’s growing is getting tested to see how many people are actually suffering from a heart issue.
What does a person have to see before selecting a doctor?
The 4Cs are essential for a doctor to be popular or successful: care, compassion, competence and communication. Of these 4, competence can never be figured out by seeing a doctor.
We know of several surgeons and interventional cardiologists who never perform any procedure but call a shadow surgeon/shadow cardiologist to do their work, while they would be present in the operating room. However, there are some ways to judge a doctor’s competence! It’s definitely not the number of patients in the waiting room to see the doctor, you could also look up the internet and see some of the reviews or online videos but you can never be 100% sure. In such cases, a relative/friends reference helps a lot. The most important factor is the accessibility of the particular doctor. I stay in a distant suburb but have performed angioplasty in South Mumbai because of the goodwill and reputation I have earned as a cardiologist.
God forbid, if u have a serious emergency? It may take 3 hours to reach a good hospital during peak traffic hours in case you’re staying in a distant suburb. So selecting a doctor that’s close by is an important factor, and his subject to availability in times if emergency.
You might have the most competent doctor who is accessible from your place, but if s/he’s not likely to be available post procedure or during your need for follow up, think 10 times before you get your procedure done by them. We are blessed with many doctors who rarely share their personal numbers, not just your family physician but others too.
While you visit your surgeon or cardiologist ask him /her to follow up or provide a contact number for further communication. A personal suggestion is to stick to traditional text messages, rather than using whatsapp or making phone calls. To sum it up remember the 4C’s of accessibility and availability as mentioned above before selecting your doctor. I hope this message is loud and clear to my respective audience.