Community Views: What Makes a Great Cardiologist
A great cardiologist is more than just the doctor who is the most knowledgeable or the one who has the office that is most convenient to get to.
Rather, a great cardiologist brings many qualities to the table. To find out which features in a cardiologist are most valuable to you, we turned to the Heart-Failure.net Facebook page. We asked community members to tell us: “What makes a great cardiologist?”
We received responses from more than 150 of you. Here is a glimpse at some of your feedback.
One who is honest and frank
We take for granted that everyone in the medical field will be honest. But there is a difference between simply delivering test results and providing feedback and advice about what to do with that information. We turn to doctors because they have the experience we lack, which is the difference-maker when it comes to judgment calls. Ideally, a cardiologist would share what they would do if they were you.
“Upfront and honest.”
“Tells you the truth and never sugarcoats anything.”
Takes time and listens thoroughly
It is surprising how many community members shared that they have had bad experiences with a cardiologist not listening to them. Listening takes time, energy, and focus. Unfortunately, not all cardiologists are willing to devote those resources to each patient. Listening not only helps us feel better but can also be the difference between our doctor catching a crucial detail and overlooking it.
“A doctor who not only takes the time but who also listens.”
“She is very thorough, listens to us, answers our questions, and even talks with us about our personal lives.”
“Knowledge combined with the ability to HEAR the patient and address their individual concerns.”
“Not a swelled head, but someone who listens and learns, too.”
Explains the details
For many people, it is important to know the "why" of a treatment plan. Not everyone wants to follow through on treatment just because the doctor says so. Instead, it can be helpful to hear the whole picture, including the possible side effects or results of every treatment option. The more information you have, the more likely it is you will make an informed decision.
“I was honestly leaning toward not having a pacemaker and just letting the Lord start the clock on what time I had left. Had this doctor not spent 45 minutes with me answering every little question, I would not have gone through with it.”
“My doctor explains everything and is never in a hurry to get out of the room.”
Involves the patient
It is very helpful when a cardiologist inspires and empowers their patients to follow directions and be proactive when it comes to their health. Rather than lecturing, treating you like a child, or using shame or guilt, a great cardiologist invites and motivates you to take an active role in your care.
“They understand that the patient is part of the treatment team.”
Cares about you as a person
Many people in the community shared that they have been moved by how much their cardiologist cares. Their doctors personally check in on them after tests and surgeries. It is much easier to feel safe and cared for when we know our doctor is looking out for us. This can also lead to less stress and a greater sense of wellness.
“Compassion and empathy along with good intellect.”
“My heart doctor calls me personally after every test. He is very compassionate and caring. He is the best. I would never change doctors.”
“Compassion and honesty. He listens and is concerned and caring. He is wonderful. I consider him one of my heroes.”
“One who shows up to talk by your bedside before he puts your pacemaker in and shows up after the operation to ask how you are doing.”
Thank you to everyone who weighed in with thoughtful responses for this story. We appreciate how so many people contributed so much helpful information.
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