Do you remember the television show, “The Dating Game” with Bob Eubanks? If you’re too young or don’t remember let me refresh or infuse your memory. A bachelor or bachelorette would sit on one side of a screen and three potential, anonymous, dates would be on the other side of the screen. Each potential date would be asked a series of questions and then the single person would select one of the three for a date.
What would it be like if we could pick our healthcare team like this? Give three potential healthcare providers the opportunity to answer the same question or different question in front of two other providers…what do you think would happen? This isn’t about seeing who can come up with the best treatment plan, but it does speak to chemistry between you and the healthcare provider.
My internist recently left the practice where I receive care. I was mailed a list of providers with the doctor’s picture and short bio, but really, how much does it tell me. The information reads more like a personal ad than a way to receive medical care. The last line of the three potential physicians read like this…NO JOKE!
In her spare time, Dr. H. enjoys spots and spending time with her family.
In his leisure time, Dr. H enjoys football, basketball, playing guitar, reading and spending time with family.
In her leisure time Dr. W. enjoys spending time with family, outdoor activities, training for triathlons and knitting.
Is this supposed to make me feel safe and secure in their hands? Do people really pick their providers based on what they do outside the office? If that were the case I’d want personal as well as professional references on dependability, level of compassion and trustworthiness, just to name a few. Personally, I’d like to know that my provider is engaged in their professional world by being involved with professional organizations, sitting on boards of health nonprofits or writing books on their specialty. I have enough friends, but finding a great provider can be tricky.
Since I’m not going to date my healthcare provider I think it’s reasonable to say that “The Dating Game” is probably not the best way of selecting a physician. If it were a real game show and I could win prizes then I’d say “let’s play”. For now I’ll settle for the rock-paper-scissor method of selecting a physician…very scientific don’t you think?