Choosing the right GP for life

By: Dr Tammra Warby

Choosing the right GP for life

Choosing a new doctor can be a daunting process. So what are the most important factors to consider if you want to stick with a GP through all the ups and downs of life? In a doctor, competency is a good start.  Having the letters FRACGP after their name means they are a member of the RACGP college, which requires extra and ongoing study in order to meet the recognised standards to practice independently anywhere in Australia.

Ask around all your contacts to see who they like, but most especially why they like that GP. The advice will be subjective, so consider what factors are most important to you. The ideal doctor-patient relationship is based on trust.  Reliability and communication are two elements that establish this. So if you’ve decided to visit for the first time, consider the following. Does that GP:

  • seem to know what they are talking about?
  • communicate clearly with you – so that you understand a plan for your care and any follow-up?
  • listen to you and respect you and your views?
  • provide you with options for treatment and aim to make a decision together while guiding you towards your best health?
  • follow through on what they say they will do?

Are they committed to your overall health, such as asking you extra questions about family history or about other risk factors?  Finally, do you feel that this doctor would “go to bat for you”, and be on your side no matter what?  Even in the times when you don’t want to hear it, you need to trust them so you know their advice is always in your best interests.

Give yourself a few chances to know if this is a relationship that will serve you well, as a great GP is one of the best health allies you can have throughout life.


Article originally appeared in 

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the Medical Centre, or any other provider within the clinic.

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