Finding a healthcare provider, whether it be a dentist or a physician, is half the job when thinking about your health. The other half is determining if you can TRUST this professional! But how does someone know? How does someone know they are receiving the best treatment? Or if the treatment proposed is best for you? Does your provider have your best interest at heart? These questions are perfectly valid to ask one self when looking in matters that will determine care. There are certain moral foundations that every healthcare provider is taught to have, and these are the characteristics you must look for when determining if this is someone you can trust.
The first trait is seeing if their treatment is rooted in science. I understand that not every patient is going to know whether or not what the doctor is saying is accurate, but it's important that a patient can separate fact from opinion. It is in your right to question why a treatment is being proposed. Questions to ask can be: Explain to me why you think this is the best option for me? What is the success rate? Are there other options? Really what you are trying to determine is if the treatment is "Evidence" based.
2. Common Sense
Do not get me wrong, it is very important to be book smart, but you also want to make sure that your provider can critically think about your case at hand. The diploma sitting on their wall doesn't necessarily tell you the type of provider they will be. It's one thing to study, and another to take the information and apply it clinically. It is important that the professional listen and take in all the facts before cutting you short with a diagnosis.
Now here I am not talking about time in practice, but rather how they would use their knowledge base. Sometimes there are situations that school doesn't prepare you for, but the provider should have the base information to know where to start when looking for the answer. It is not only essential that the provider be taught well in school, but more so, be taught how to be a life-long learner and evolve as the science changes.
Lastly, you need to make sure that you as the patient always come first. There is no one way to know this until you meet and talk to the professional. The traits that one may look for can vary depending on the individual and the doctor-patient relation they want. The fact however should remain the same, do you feel like you are coming first?
It is easy to sit back and remain silent in the face of someone titled "Doctor". Remember that you have every right to question any decision made about your health. Yes they are the professional, but hey .. this is your health!!