David Poon, BSc. Immunology and Infection, PharmD Student
So Many Choices
It’s easy to find a doctor or pharmacist. However, it’s not easy to find a good family doctor and pharmacist. Walk-in clinics are great places if you need to see a doctor immediately, but you probably won’t be spending much time with the doctor there. If you’ve walked down the street, you may also notice the plethora of pharmacies around. Yet, only some of them offer quality patient-care services.
Finding McDreamy (yes, that was a Grey’s Anatomy reference)
You owe it to yourself to find an amazing family physician. Yes, it can be a difficult process, especially if you’re new to an area, or if your previous family physician retired. More often than not, patients tell me that they don’t see their doctor unless absolutely necessary, or that they hate seeing their doctor. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. Some patients are in denial about the state of their health. Other patients don’t have a good relationship with their doctor. Don’t get me wrong, doctors are truly there to help you. However, they’re human too, with different personalities and perspectives. I like to think that there are 3 golden rules to keep in mind when trying to find the perfect family doctor.
- Find a doctor that is willing to take the time and listen to you.
- Find a doctor that is caring, compassionate and empathetic.
- Find a doctor that takes the initiative to follow-up with you to monitor your health.
It might take some time, but once you find that special doctor, your body will thank you. Check out the Alberta Health Services website or call 811 to begin the process of finding your next family physician.
Finding McSteamy (yes, there should be a show about pharmacists too)
Pharmacies have evolved beyond being just a dispensary for medications. Pharmacies offer various clinical services, such as prescribing, renewing and adapting drug therapies. They can also offer travel health advice, vaccines and injections, care plans and much more! The problem is that not every pharmacy offers these services, and those that do may not do a great job at them.
- Find a pharmacist that thoroughly goes over your medications with you.
- Find a pharmacist that listens to your problem before immediately referring you to see your doctor.
- Find a pharmacy that that truly cares about your health, instead of seeing you as a quick buck. Trust me, you can tell if they care.
With so many pharmacies available, don’t be afraid to try a few before settling for the one closest to home or the one beside your doctor’s office.
The Bottom Line
Finding your perfect doctor and pharmacist can have a huge impact on your health. Health care professionals are there to serve your health needs. You put a lot of trust in health care professionals, so you owe it to yourself to find the best possible team available to suit your unique needs. It might take some time, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.