What makes a good match between a patient and a doctor?
"It's about the comfort level that comes from good communication," says family practice physician Sanjeeb Khatua, MD, of Edward Medical Group in Plainfield. "If you feel the doctor isn't able to communicate, and isn't listening to what you're saying, you're not going to be getting the care you need."
If you and your doctor hit it off, on the other hand, you're much more likely to get regular check-ups, open up about symptoms and lifestyle, and follow up on recommendations.
Joliet resident Freddy Ortiz, 41, has been a patient of Dr. Khatua's since 2010 and credits him with turning his life around, thanks to an approach that got Ortiz's attention.
"I was never very trusting of doctors," says Ortiz. "When they told me I had things to work on I didn't take it seriously. But Dr. Khatua laid it on the table and spoke to me at my level. This made it easier for me to retain the information and to trust in what he was saying. He has a great bedside manner."
"The patient's key job in this partnership is coming in for that regular physical," says Dr. Khatua. "The patient's trust can be shaken if they feel you're always chasing a problem, instead of catching it early. With regular physicals, we can look at trends, such as cholesterol levels. If they start to climb, we can talk about lifestyle changes and eventually, if that doesn't work, medications."
In Ortiz's case, the red flags included high blood pressure and very high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
"And at my May 2012 check-up, my glucose level showed borderline diabetes," says Ortiz. "My mother and brothers have diabetes and need a lot of insulin. I didn't want to end up like that. Dr. Khatua started me on diabetes medication and helped me realize I needed to change my ways. He took the time to explain to me how I needed to eat, and the importance of exercise."
|PHOTO: WHAT MAKES A GOOD MATCH
BETWEEN A PATIENT AND A DOCTOR?
Ortiz's efforts to follow that advice have paid off. Over a four-month period, he lost 50 pounds and went from a size 40 waist to a 34. And Dr. Khatua has halved the dosage of all Ortiz's medications and may take him off them altogether in the near future.
As a family practice physician, Dr. Khatua not only emphasizes preventive medicine, he also takes into account the patient's life outside the doctor's visit, as well as their personal and family history. It helps that in his specialty he sees the full age spectrum of patients – from infants to those in their senior years.
"And, I have some patients whose parents and grandparents also are patients," says Dr. Khatua.
Log on to EdwardMedicalGroup.org and get a sneak peek at the personality and practice styles of our physicians. We have more than 50 board-certified family practice and internal medicine physicians with their own unique personalities and practice styles that are sure to match up with every member of your family – infants through seniors.