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With 24/7 access to online doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and other medical experts, care is always available, anytime and anywhere. Select and see your favorite providers again and again, right from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

A doctor is a medical professional who has completed the necessary education and training to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses and injuries in individuals. They are highly trained and skilled professionals who use their knowledge and expertise to help people maintain their health and well-being. Doctors can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and research institutions. They can specialize in different fields of medicine, such as cardiology, pediatrics, oncology, and psychiatry.

Doctors are trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses and injuries, and they use their knowledge and skills to improve the quality of life for their patients. Doctors provide essential medical care, prescribe medication, perform surgeries, and offer preventative measures to help people maintain their health. They also conduct research, educate patients and the public, and work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for their patients. Without doctors, people would lack access to critical medical care and expertise, leading to potentially devastating consequences for individuals and society as a whole.

Duties and ResponsibilitiesThe duties and responsibilities of a doctor vary depending on their specialty and place of work. However, there are some general responsibilities that apply to most doctors:

Being a doctor can be a rewarding and fulfilling career, but it requires a significant amount of dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. It is important for individuals considering this career path to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Choosing the right doctor can be difficult. How do you know that you can believe the ratings you see online Cleveland Clinic is committed to helping you find the right physician for you with ratings you can trust.

In addition to the theme of visiting multiple clinicians, several American investigators have constricted the definition of doctor shopping to specifically address the seeking by patients of illicit prescription medications, especially controlled substances. In this regard, Lineberry and Bostwick6 define doctor shopping as patient visits to multiple physicians simply to procure prescriptions. Hall et al7 characterize doctor shopping as obtaining prescriptions for controlled substances from five or more clinicians during the preceding year. Shaffer and Moss8 define doctor shopping as patient consultation with multiple physicians in a short time frame with the explicit intent to deceive them in order to obtain controlled substances.

Physician-related factors. While the majority of studies has focused on patient factors related to doctor shopping, several studies have examined specific physician factors, as well. In this regard, Yeung et al12 determined that extended waiting times contributed to doctor shopping among patients in a Hong Kong community medicine clinic. Feroni et al13 reported that physician attitude, particularly being stringent, stern, or strict, was a factor in doctor shopping among French patients in buprenorphine maintenance programs. In a community sample from the United States, Kasteler et al14 uncovered a number of physician factors related to patient doctor shopping. These factors included inconvenient office hours or locations, undesirable personal qualities of the physician, and insufficient time for communication between the clinician and patient.

Patient-related factors, illness variables. According to the available data, patients doctor-shop for a number of personal reasons, as well. Importantly, these reasons may relate to illness characteristics rather than psychological dysfunction. For example, doctor shopping may be due to symptom persistence,1 a lack of understanding of either the proffered diagnosis or the treatment,2 and/or no improvement in the illness.11 In addition, patients may seek other providers because of the chronicity of the illness or disbelief in either the diagnosis or treatment.10 According to Macpherson et al,3 there appear to be several specific medical diagnoses that are associated with consultations with multiple providers: upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, and gastroenteritis.3 On a side note, Leung et al15 determined that doctor shopping was associated with failed appointments.

The patent majority of commentaries and empirical studies examining patient factors related to doctor shopping reside in the area of substance misuse/abuse. In this regard, Lineberry and Bostwick6 indicated that doctor shopping is a traditional method for acquiring drugs illicitly. Klienschmidt et al20 reported that many patients in treatment in a drug and alcohol program disclosed that doctor shopping for benzodiazepines was easily accomplished. Pradel21 identified doctor shopping as a concern with French patients in buprenorphine maintenance treatment.

As for empirical studies on doctor shopping and the seeking of illicit drugs, in a Norwegian study, Winther and Bramness22 found relationships between the number of physicians consulted and the prescription of addictive drugs. In this investigation, the two study cohorts consisted of patients consulting with five or more physicians for either 1) addictive drugs or 2) nonaddictive drugs. The percentage of patients in the addictive-drug cohort was 9.5 times higher than the percentage of patients in the nonaddictive cohort. In a patient sample from Hong Kong, Dong et al23 found empirical associations between doctor shopping and benzodiazepine abuse. In examining the prescription drugs most associated with doctor shopping, Wilsey et al24 reported that opioids were most common (12.8%), followed by benzodiazepines (4.2%), stimulants (1.4%), and weight-loss medications (0.9%).

Importantly, not all studies have found relationships between doctor shopping and prescription misuse. For example, in a different study by Wilsey et al,25 using data from the California Prescription Monitoring Program, investigators did not find a relationship between doctor shopping and the abuse of opioids.

Finding a main doctor (often called your primary doctor or primary care doctor) who you feel comfortable talking to is the first step in good communication. How well you and your doctor talk to each other is one of the most important steps to getting good health care. This doctor gets to know you and what your health is normally like. He or she can help you make medical decisions that suit your values and daily habits and can keep in touch with the other medical specialists and healthcare providers you may need.

Taking an active role in your health care puts the responsibility for good communication on both you and your doctor. This means asking questions if the doctor's explanations or instructions are unclear, bringing up problems even if the doctor doesn't ask, and letting the doctor know if you have concerns about a particular treatment or change in your daily life.

Primary care physicians frequently are family practitioners, internists, or geriatricians. A geriatrician is a doctor who specializes in older people, but family practitioners and internists may also have a lot of experience with older patients. Here are some suggestions that can help you find a doctor who meets your needs.

It may be helpful to develop a list of a few names you can choose from. As you find out more about the doctors on this list, you may rule out some of them. In some cases, a doctor may not be taking new patients and you may have to make another choice.

Members of a health maintenance organization (HMO) pay a set monthly fee no matter how many (or few) times they see a doctor. Usually there are no deductibles or claims forms, but you will have a co-payment for doctor visits and prescriptions. Each member chooses a primary care doctor from within the HMO network. The primary care doctor coordinates all care and, if necessary, refers members to specialists.

You may want to set up an appointment to meet and talk with a doctor you are considering. He or she is likely to charge you for such a visit. After the appointment, ask yourself if this doctor is a person with whom you could work well. If you are not satisfied, schedule a visit with one of your other candidates.

If you have health insurance, you may need to choose from a list of doctors in your plan's network (doctors that take your insurance plan). Some insurance plans may let you choose a doctor outside your network if you pay more of the cost.

Make a list of the doctors you're interested in. Be sure to think about how easy or difficult it will be to travel to an appointment. Then call their offices to learn more about them. The answers to the following questions may help you make the best decision.

c. 1300, doctour, "Church father," from Old French doctour and directly from Medieval Latin doctor "religious teacher, adviser, scholar," in classical Latin "teacher," agent noun from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting" (from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept").

Middle English also used medicin for "a medical doctor" (mid-15c.), from French. Similar usage of the equivalent of doctor is colloquial in most European languages: Italian dottore, French docteur, German doktor, Lithuanian daktaras, though these typically are not the main word in those languages for a medical healer. For similar evolution, compare Sanskrit vaidya- "medical doctor," literally "one versed in science." German Arzt, Dutch arts are from Late Latin archiater, from Greek arkhiatros "chief healer," hence "court physician." French médecin is a back-formation from médicine, replacing Old French miege, from Latin medicus. 59ce067264


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