Sure, women swoon over McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy because he’s a heart-throb. What makes a doctor truly attractive in real life? Here’s what Health magazine found makes or breaks a doctor in a patient’s opinion. First, according to their survey, the top three things patients want are: #3. Someone who comes highly recommended. #2. Someone who’s up on the latest medical research. #1. A doctor who will LISTEN to them. Here are the facts that back up those opinions.

  • Listening skills. A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine found that when a doctor starts talking about their own weight or a recent vacation they took, they rarely return to the original discussion – like your blood pressure, insomnia or diet. So if they don’t listen well, find a different doctor.
  • Patients want doctors who are: Professional dressers. A study from the British Medical Journal found that most patients prefer a physician who wears a lab coat. Patients feel more confident about a doctor who wears one. This is in spite of the fact that doctors feel like the coats aren't very sanitary. However, 56% of patients want their doctors to wear them, and one of the main reasons was they felt the doctors wearing them were more trustworthy. They also liked being able to easily identify who the doctor was in a crowded office. When a doctor was wearing a white lab coat, the patients felt they got better care.
  • People want a doctor who comes recommended. If you don’t have a referral from a friend or another physician, you should make sure the doctor you’re seeing is board-certified in their specialty. You can check with the American Board of Medical Specialties at ABMS.org. Also, find out if they have hospital privileges. That means they had to pass a rigorous credentialing process as well as exams.
  • Empathy. Dr. Roberts Klitzman, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, found that for physicians, being able to put themselves in their patients’ shoes is crucial. Why? Because you’re more likely to open up and trust an empathic doc, which means you’ll convey more medical information.