There’s no way around it; visiting the gynecologist can be an uncomfortable affair. Having the parts of your body you spend your entire life covering up, poked and prodded, can be unsettling for even the most open minded. Of course, yearly gynecological checkups are required for maintaining female well-being, so there’s really no dancing around the discomfort.
The best way to minimize general unpleasantness is by finding a gynecologist who makes you feel at ease. To help make your search easier, the following is a list of qualities you should seek out in selecting the best gynecologist for you.
Able to Answer Questions
According to 25-year practicing OB/GYN, Dr. Kimberly Arthur, MD., “Women should seek a doctor willing to talk with them about their concerns… Medicine has changed. We’re not as able to spend a lot of time with each patient now, but we need to make sure the patient is satisfied and that we are able to talk.” Seek out a gynecologist who will answer your personal questions without judgment or condescension. You should feel free to ask your gynecologist anything. If you feel otherwise, it may be time to locate a new doctor.
Easy to Reach
Doctors can be difficult to get a hold of, which can be frustrating, considering the value of your health. A good choice gynecologist is one who permits contact after hours. This is especially important, as many patients experience what Arthur refers to as “brain freeze” with questions they had in mind to ask during their appointments.
An effective gynecologist is one who follows up on appointments with test results, answers to your questions, and any further information he/she may find relevant to you. According to Arthur, “It is best if doctors respond within 48 hours, and it’s important that patients receive the results of tests, especially ones of concern, from the doctor, not the staff.”
As the field of gynecology is constantly evolving, it is essential that your gynecologist is up-to-date on the latest advancements in research, diagnosis, and treatment. Your gynecologist is your gateway to this information; what they know is what you know, and what you want to know is the full scale of your options.
For example, it is no longer recommended that teenagers are administered pap smears until they have been sexually active for three years, as recent studies have concluded that Human papillomavirus (HPV) naturally resolves itself in younger teens. Knowing this information, a gynecologist can save younger teen patients from having to miss school or fork over co-pays for unnecessary procedures.
It is clear that one trait is common among these three requirements for an effective gynecologist: strong communication skills. In addition to being technically proficient, it is critical that your gynecologist ensures your comfort, trust, and well-being by keeping the lines of communication open with you. Seek out a gynecologist you can comfortably talk to, and you’ll find your yearly exam entirely more bearable.
If you need help locating a professional gynecologist with top-of-the-line communication skills, Gynecologists.com’s “Find a Doctor Near You” search directory can point you in the right direction. Just enter your city, state, zipcode, and/or insurance provider and locate the perfect doctor for you today!