Many people consider a doctor to be an essential part of their healthcare team. Here are my thoughts on 8 traits of a good doctor and healer*, based on personal experience. *If you’re not into doctors, the principles I describe below are also applicable to most healers in the alternative therapies field.
Thank you to the healers in my life for inspiring me to write this article.
2021 update – See my review of Emotional Female by Dr. Yumiko Kadota, on the challenges facing young doctors including racism and sexism.
Since childhood, people have asked me for directions. I’d stand at the lights, and tourists would ask me which way to go. I’d go to shops, and women would say ‘do you have this dress in a medium?’, even if I didn’t work there. Friends would seek restaurant suggestions from me, all the time because I have such high standards. So you could say, I’ve always been someone who gives referrals.
These days, as a scientist-turned-psychic, who writes about new age frauds, and has a generous refund policy, I field (somewhat) less questions about finding the nearest toilet. Instead, I’m often asked who I see for healing, which is a topic I cover here: Mercury Retrograde 2017 – Even High Flyers Need a Safety Net and in this followup post on doctors.
Over the years, I’ve had medical and alternative treatments for issues like acne (cystic) and eczema, anorexia and binge eating, anxiety, gluten and dairy intolerances/ indigestion/ constipation, gastroenteritis, allergies/ hayfever, insomnia, laryngitis/ sore throats, nosebleeds, ovarian cysts/ fertility issues, pyrrole disorder, shock (post-tsunami), sprains, teeth problems, tonsillitis, and so on. No broken bones yet, but a cross-section of almost every other health issue.
After working with dozens of GPs and healers, I’ve learned the hard way, how to spot who’s genuine, and who’s fake. Here are my tips to help you find your perfect specialist/s:
8 Signs of a Good Doctor
Note: I’m assuming you’ve already done all the normal checks of your doctor’s prices, qualifications and experience – this checklist is more about the things that aren’t so obvious.
1) They always have patience. I pay more to see GPs who take an hour to get to know me on the first visit. Why? Because I take my health seriously. We get one body per lifetime and I don’t want to risk misdiagnosis. I once saw a doctor after hours, who not only charged me extra (despite doing a five minute consult), he gave me drugs for the wrong illness, which didn’t work. The doctors and healers I see now take their time. They may not always be punctual, but that’s a small price to pay for getting issues resolved. Sometimes, an accurate diagnosis is 99% of the cure. Do it once, do it well.
Tip: When you book in with a doctor, ask the receptionist how long their average appointments are. 15 or 30 minutes is reasonable, under 15 minutes seems rushed to me. I also ask if they run on time – if they say ‘usually, but they’ll take longer if needed’ I see this as a positive.
2) They always have patients (yes, that’s a pun). I prefer doctors who take bookings, and have patients who seem like me (well-informed and assertive). As someone who runs a business with a waitlist, I know that good things are worth the suspense (and cost). I also like GPs who offer emergency consults (e.g. by Skype) because I’m a mum.
Tip: Chat to other patients in the waiting room if you can. You could ask if they’ve seen the doctor before, and if he/ she was helpful. This can give you an idea if the doctor has loyal clients or is a ‘churn-and-burn personality.
3) They look you in the eye. In Chinese medicine they say that clear eyes mean a radiant heart. As I wrote in my post on face reading, tired eyes are a warning sign. They indicate that someone is living out of sync with nature, e.g. staying up late or eating unsuitable foods (dark circles), feeling inflamed (red eyes), irritated (watery/ allergic eyes) or jaundiced (yellow eyes). The eye and brain are sensitive to hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), so a lack of fresh air (and ideas?) shows up here first. I’m not saying your doctor needs to look like a supermodel, but a calm, clear gaze is important. Steady, kind people have steady, kind eyes.
Tip: Allowing for cultural exceptions (Indigenous Australian and some Asian cultures look down a lot), your doctor should look at you when talking, not hide behind a computer. This shows honesty, and is important if they’re diagnosing a child. Kids know when people are talking to them vs at them and it can set up a resistance to doctors and medicine in general. Make eye contact with your doctor when you walk in, to let them know you are present and ‘in your power’.
4) They expect questions, and offer alternatives. Anyone with half a brain knows there are few absolutes in life. I know people who were told they would never have kids/ get better/ live past six months of a diagnosis, who went on to prove their clinicians wrong. Doctors work with probabilities, and there are always exceptions to the rule. Good GPs check if their patients have questions, and will give you the pros and cons of each solution. They’re also open to other treatments (I love acupuncture, chiropractic work, flower essences, etc.)
If you meet a doctor who says ‘I’m the only one you can trust’, ‘this is the only thing that will work’, or ‘I know better than you’, run! Absolute power corrupts. A doctor who treats you like meat might fix your pain (temporarily), but they will also dent your spirit, and create codependency. You’ve lived in your body since birth, whereas they’ve only known you briefly. The lifetime owner of a car will know its quirks better than a mechanic who’s never opened the bonnet.
Tip: Feel free to bring questions to an appointment, even if they’re from an internet search. Even doctors use Google sometimes*. Don’t feel guilty for asking them, it’s self-responsibility. Even if the doctor seems restless, stay in the room until you feel your queries have been addressed – after all you are paying them for a service. *I once saw a doctor, who Googled my question about Down’s Syndrome risk in mothers over 35 (!) She was a bit rough in the physical exams, so for this and a few reasons I didn’t go back.
5) They can handle conflict. Life is like a meal. You have an idea, cook it up, enjoy it and then need to wash the dishes. Disagreeing with someone is like washing dishes – it should be done promptly so you don’t have to deal with ‘dirty’ feelings later. I believe that, a good healer isn’t threatened by clever patients. A master doesn’t suppress their followers. They know that wisdom can’t be stolen, only shared. It’s the same with doctors – a good one encourages you to speak up, is open-minded and willing to disagree on some points.
Tip: According to a study reported by Reader’s Digest, the average patient speaks for 12 seconds before their doctor interrupts them. Observe whether your doctor lets you finish talking before offering their opinion. If you need to, ask them to give you a chance to explain your situation, so they have the full picture.
6) They love people, as much as their work. They don’t consider people in their way, they know people ARE their way. I smile when I see pictures of a doctor’s family, or paintings, toys and thank you cards around. It’s hard enough asking for help from a GP, let alone sitting in a room that feels like freezing jail cell. Someone who cares about their patients makes an effort to create comfort, whether that’s through providing cushy chairs, or hiring reception staff who remember your name.
Tip: If a doctor’s office feels warm and homely, you’ve struck gold. Not only does it mean they’ve probably been in business a while (something you could check), they get that helping people feel better starts from the moment you walk in. We leave energy wherever we go. A doctor who treats clients well will have a different-feeling room to someone who scares people into submission (see 5.).
7) They’re continually upgrading their skills and ‘have a life’. Humanity is evolving, and what someone learned 30 years ago may not be relevant today. A GP who travels, does volunteer work or runs or attends workshops will be more inspiring than someone who’s barely left their desk since they graduated. They’re also more likely to have a work/ life balance, which is one of the secrets to health. So you’ll be able to see them for longer, as well as live longer yourself. What’s not to love about that?
Tip: I like doctors who take regular breaks. Sometimes I’ll even ask them when their last holiday was! This shows me if they have their priorities straight and are going to be a reliable practitioner. A burned out doctor tends to expect too much of themselves and their clients…a rested one is more realistic.
8) You walk out of their office feeling energised, not drained. Every choice we make either completes, or depletes us. Doctors who see you as ‘broken, and in need of fixing’ want you to keep returning, and tend to over-prescribe. Doctors who see you as ‘whole, but needing support’, prescribe with caution, and will refer you for a second or third opinion if needed. They’re more concerned with your health, than getting your money or commissions from drug companies. I’m reminded of a thoughtful GP I met recently, who said ‘it’s a good day when I don’t have to write out a prescription’.
Tip: Before you walk into a doctor’s office, give your energy levels a rating out of 10 (0 being flat, 10 being great). Do the same as you walk out. Although you may still be sick, you shouldn’t feel ‘more’ sick – always feeling tired after seeing someone is a sign they are not giving you value. This is an exercise from my article 3 Ways That Letting People Down Can Raise You Up – How to Dissolve Your Fear of Rejection.
In numerology, every word can be reduced to a number. DOCTOR adds to 30/3, the same vibration as words like PASSION, SCEPTIC, FAMILY and ALCOHOL. In a nutshell, I believe it’s best to:
– look for a doctor who loves what they do,
-be sceptical of GPs who rush you in and out, and
-find someone who treats you like a close relative, rather than telling you what to do because they’re drunk on power.
The number 3 (or third chakra/ Solar Plexus) is about the wise use of willpower, ego and discipline to change the world. It looks like a pair of lips in profile, because it’s about having the guts to say what’s right. In balance, 3 energy brings light and joy to the darkest of situations. Out of balance, it criticises and controls, shutting down other people’s opinions. Can you see how this relates to the medical profession?
MEDICINE adds to 44/8, the same as words like COMMITMENT and ETERNITY. The double 4’s mean ‘a big 4th or Heart Chakra’, which can be used to create a cycle of healing (8 energy). A good doctor (and healer) can help to restore faith and order to your life. You just need to find someone who sees the big picture, while honouring the small things, which make their patients feel special.
Giving Your Inner Critic the Prick – Interview with Tia Yoong from Pulse Acupuncture (a 30/3 Lifepath Artist in Numerology)
The St Andrew’s Cross in Palmistry – Will You Save Lives?
The Medical Stigmata in Palmistry
3 Ways That Letting People Down Can Raise You Up – How to
Dissolve Your Fear of Rejection
8 Spiritual Ways to Stop Bullying – Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8