A general practitioner or GP is a medical doctor who treats severe illnesses but has no particular field of specialization. The general practitioner is often the first medical personnel that a patient consults when ill. Armed with vast medical experience and training, he or she makes an acute diagnosis of the illness at hand. The GP is also concerned with preventive healthcare. He or she educates patients on various issues meant to promote their health.
Once you visit a general practitioner's medical clinic, the following are a few things you should look out for:
- Qualifications: The doctor has to be qualified to treat you. The minimum requirements for a general practitioner in Australia is a bachelor's degree in medicine. Further, ensure that the doctor is licensed to practice.
- Organization: The clinic should be tidy and well organized. This is a person in charge of people's health, and his or her place of work must reflect that.
- Equipment: The clinic should have the essential medical equipment necessary for carrying out diagnosis and treatment. Such might include an autoclave, body weight scales, emergency equipment and supplies, laboratory equipment and an examination table.
- Utilities: The medical clinic should have access to essential utilities such as a bathroom. Clean water should also be available to visiting patients.
- Staffing: The staff in the general practitioner's clinic should uphold professionalism and practice the highest degree of courtesy.
The general practitioner should possess the following qualities.
- Empathy: The doctor should have the ability to understand your feelings. Compassion is useful in making a diagnosis and evaluating appropriate treatment plans.
- Communication skills: Accurate diagnosis and treatment are dependent on information sharing. Your general practitioner should be competent in oral communication. The GP should be an excellent speaker and an even better listener.
- Accessibility: The patient-doctor interaction does not end after the patient leaves the clinic. A good GP will give you're their contacts, and you can regularly engage them in matters concerning your health. Modern-day GPs have social media pages where they interact with patients outside the hospital setting.
- Ethical: The GP should uphold the medical profession ethics with the utmost regard. He or she should respect your choices, act in your best interest, and should not cause any harm to you.
When visiting a general practitioners clinic, ensure that it is organized, it has the right equipment, access to utilities, and that the GP is qualified and licensed. The GP should be ethical, accessible, empathetic and an excellent communicator.