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August 22, 2017  
COMMUNITY: Frequently Asked Questions
Uterus1: How should I select a physician?
Dr. Phillip Brooks: The best way is to talk to a physician that you trust, who offers the kind of care that you like, and ask him for somebody in obstetrics and gynecology who has the same kind of feeling. When you go to a medical society, their obligation is to treat everybody equally, so they give a rotation of three or four names in order. Ask a nurse at a hospital who they see as the best practitioner, not the nicest guy but the person who takes the best care of patients, who is kind and caring and committed to answering phone calls and calming the fears and confusion of patients. I think that’s probably the best way of ensuring that you get a quality physician.
Dr. William Crowder: Most people generally work on very superficial information about doctors. For patients who are moving to a new town and want to know how to choose another physician in a distant city, the first thing I’d is that in order to look for technical competence, they should look for board certification. At least these doctors have passed a set of rigorous qualifications to achieve that level. Now that doesn’t mean that they’re good people and it doesn’t mean that they have good personalities; it just means that they have technical competence. And from a surgical perspective, it doesn’t say that they have good technical ability, it just says that they know enough to be able to pass examinations. I think the second most appropriate information to seek is whether the doctor in question is personable: is this doctor one the patient can get along with. For that question, I would say that the best thing to do is develop some friends and ask those friends, “Who is your physician and do you like him?” That’s a very important question, because some people will stay with physicians they really don’t like very much.
Dr. Joseph Krotec: The most important thing patients can look for in a physician is someone willing to spend time and listen to them. You would be amazed at how often, if you actually spend the time to listen to what a patient is saying, they will make a diagnosis for you. The doctors that take the time to listen and to spend the time with patients are the doctors who are going to get to the bottom of things and make accurate diagnoses. They’re going to treat those problems for the patient in the quickest and simplest way possible. In my office, we set one hour aside for a patient’s first appointment, and that’s almost unheard of. So don’t go to an office where they tell you the doctor has 50 appointments a day or they schedule 4 to 8 patients an hour. Ask the office how much time they allot for a visit. An office that devotes time to appointments and sees maybe ten or fifteen patients a day will give you the attention you need, and not use testing resources that may not even be needed. That’s one thing. I think another important thing is to find someone who will offer alternative treatments and not be dogmatic about how conditions are treated. Patients have to be made a part of that process, just as they may help you make the diagnosis. Doctors need to be able to look at a patient and tailor the treatment to that patient’s lifestyle – their family, their work situation, their fears, their expectations. That’s very important.
Dr. Bruce Kahn: In selecting a physician, make sure you feel your physician is really listening to you. Make sure that he or she seems to have heard you. At the end of a visit, patients should understand what the doctor thinks is the problem and what the plan or options are for diagnosis or treatment. Communication is what the patient/physician relationship is based upon. Trust is imperative, but there must also be effective communication. This is the most important component of the physician-patient relationship. As far as treatment options are concerned, the more patients can learn about treatment options and the more educated they are about disease states and treatment options, the more in charge they will be and the better the treatment they’ll receive because of it. To the best of your ability, take charge of your medical care and you’ll be better off for it!
Dr. Phillip Brooks: The best way is to talk to a physician that you trust, who offers the kind of care that you like, and ask him for somebody in obstetrics and gynecology who has the same kind of feeling. When you go to a medical society, their obligation is to treat everybody equally, so they give a rotation of three or four names in order. Ask a nurse at a hospital who they see as the best practitioner, not the nicest guy but the person who takes the best care of patients, who is kind and caring and committed to answering phone calls and calming the fears and confusion of patients. I think that’s probably the best way of ensuring that you get a quality physician.
Dr. William Crowder: Most people generally work on very superficial information about doctors. For patients who are moving to a new town and want to know how to choose another physician in a distant city, the first thing I’d is that in order to look for technical competence, they should look for board certification. At least these doctors have passed a set of rigorous qualifications to achieve that level. Now that doesn’t mean that they’re good people and it doesn’t mean that they have good personalities; it just means that they have technical competence. And from a surgical perspective, it doesn’t say that they have good technical ability, it just says that they know enough to be able to pass examinations. I think the second most appropriate information to seek is whether the doctor in question is personable: is this doctor one the patient can get along with. For that question, I would say that the best thing to do is develop some friends and ask those friends, “Who is your physician and do you like him?” That’s a very important question, because some people will stay with physicians they really don’t like very much.
Dr. Joseph Krotec: The most important thing patients can look for in a physician is someone willing to spend time and listen to them. You would be amazed at how often, if you actually spend the time to listen to what a patient is saying, they will make a diagnosis for you. The doctors that take the time to listen and to spend the time with patients are the doctors who are going to get to the bottom of things and make accurate diagnoses. They’re going to treat those problems for the patient in the quickest and simplest way possible. In my office, we set one hour aside for a patient’s first appointment, and that’s almost unheard of. So don’t go to an office where they tell you the doctor has 50 appointments a day or they schedule 4 to 8 patients an hour. Ask the office how much time they allot for a visit. An office that devotes time to appointments and sees maybe ten or fifteen patients a day will give you the attention you need, and not use testing resources that may not even be needed. That’s one thing. I think another important thing is to find someone who will offer alternative treatments and not be dogmatic about how conditions are treated. Patients have to be made a part of that process, just as they may help you make the diagnosis. Doctors need to be able to look at a patient and tailor the treatment to that patient’s lifestyle – their family, their work situation, their fears, their expectations. That’s very important.
Dr. Bruce Kahn: In selecting a physician, make sure you feel your physician is really listening to you. Make sure that he or she seems to have heard you. At the end of a visit, patients should understand what the doctor thinks is the problem and what the plan or options are for diagnosis or treatment. Communication is what the patient/physician relationship is based upon. Trust is imperative, but there must also be effective communication. This is the most important component of the physician-patient relationship. As far as treatment options are concerned, the more patients can learn about treatment options and the more educated they are about disease states and treatment options, the more in charge they will be and the better the treatment they’ll receive because of it. To the best of your ability, take charge of your medical care and you’ll be better off for it!
Dr. Phillip Brooks

Dr. Phillip Brooks


Dr. Philip Brooks is a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Director of Operating Rooms at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he currently practices. Since 1965, when Dr. Brooks entered private practice, he has been at the forefront of advancing technology in his field. His research led to the development of operative hysteroscopy, which he then introduced into China and Israel. More recently, he has been working on the development of minimally invasive ways of treating abnormal uterine bleeding. In this interview, he highlights "the quest of doctors to find the best, safest, simplest, and least expensive ways of helping patients."

Dr. William Crowder

Dr. William Crowder


Dr. William E. Crowder is an obstetrician and gynecologist who works in private practice at Women’s Health Care Associates in Conroe, Texas. He supplements his busy schedule as a private practitioner with work at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he is a Clinical Assistant Professor. Though he views himself as a practitioner more than a researcher, he has also been published in a variety of medical journals, including Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Journal of Surgery because, as he told Uterus1, he cannot pass up a chance to share information that could lead to improved patient care.

Dr. Joseph Krotec

Dr. Joseph Krotec


As the Director of Endoscopic Surgery at the Cooper Institute for Reproductive and Hormonal Disorders, Dr. Joseph Krotec is a pioneer in the field of endoscopic surgery. Dr. Krotec is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and serves on several boards. At the Cooper Institute, he uses the latest endoscopic technology to diagnose and treat women’s reproductive health problems, and teaches other practitioners how to do the same. In all of his roles, he helps to pilot and review new medical technologies and techniques, in hopes of decreasing patients’ suffering and overuse of hospital resources while at the same time increasing knowledge and precision in patient care. He spoke to Uterus1 about developments in women’s health care and endoscopic surgery, as well as the triumphs of working in women’s and reproductive health care.

Dr. Bruce Kahn

Dr. Bruce Kahn


Dr. Bruce Kahn is a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Kahn completed a medical internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chicago, IL. He completed his residency training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA and Abington Memorial Hospital near Philadelphia, PA. Following his residency, Dr. Kahn was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve. He served on active duty as a staff physician at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. He joined the Scripps Clinic in 1999 and has pioneered work in the department and the region on the technique of laparoscopic hysterectomy. Dr. Kahn spends his free time with his wife and two children.

Dr. Phillip Brooks

Dr. Phillip Brooks


Dr. Philip Brooks is a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Director of Operating Rooms at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he currently practices. Since 1965, when Dr. Brooks entered private practice, he has been at the forefront of advancing technology in his field. His research led to the development of operative hysteroscopy, which he then introduced into China and Israel. More recently, he has been working on the development of minimally invasive ways of treating abnormal uterine bleeding. In this interview, he highlights "the quest of doctors to find the best, safest, simplest, and least expensive ways of helping patients."

Dr. William Crowder

Dr. William Crowder


Dr. William E. Crowder is an obstetrician and gynecologist who works in private practice at Women’s Health Care Associates in Conroe, Texas. He supplements his busy schedule as a private practitioner with work at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he is a Clinical Assistant Professor. Though he views himself as a practitioner more than a researcher, he has also been published in a variety of medical journals, including Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Journal of Surgery because, as he told Uterus1, he cannot pass up a chance to share information that could lead to improved patient care.

Dr. Joseph Krotec

Dr. Joseph Krotec


As the Director of Endoscopic Surgery at the Cooper Institute for Reproductive and Hormonal Disorders, Dr. Joseph Krotec is a pioneer in the field of endoscopic surgery. Dr. Krotec is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and serves on several boards. At the Cooper Institute, he uses the latest endoscopic technology to diagnose and treat women’s reproductive health problems, and teaches other practitioners how to do the same. In all of his roles, he helps to pilot and review new medical technologies and techniques, in hopes of decreasing patients’ suffering and overuse of hospital resources while at the same time increasing knowledge and precision in patient care. He spoke to Uterus1 about developments in women’s health care and endoscopic surgery, as well as the triumphs of working in women’s and reproductive health care.

Dr. Bruce Kahn

Dr. Bruce Kahn


Dr. Bruce Kahn is a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Kahn completed a medical internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chicago, IL. He completed his residency training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA and Abington Memorial Hospital near Philadelphia, PA. Following his residency, Dr. Kahn was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve. He served on active duty as a staff physician at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. He joined the Scripps Clinic in 1999 and has pioneered work in the department and the region on the technique of laparoscopic hysterectomy. Dr. Kahn spends his free time with his wife and two children.

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