Patients need to feel understood by their healthcare clinicians, whether it’s in urgent care, primary care, or behavioral health. If you haven’t clicked with doctors in the past because they couldn’t relate to your social or cultural background, building a relationship with a provider who understands your identity may be especially important to you.
Doctors haven’t always been trained or encouraged to consider the patient’s point of view. In fact, there are studies showing that during the typical physician-patient interaction, the doctor doesn’t let a patient talk for more than one minute before interrupting. Being cut short or feeling judged can be intimidating, and it may create a distance between you and the provider. It may even prevent you from seeking care when you need it.
Historically, there hasn’t been much diversity among doctors, which may make it harder for women or people in underrepresented groups to feel a connection. Finding someone you can identify with to serve your healthcare needs feels validating, and it may increase your confidence about going to the doctor.
At Doctor On Demand, we have a very diverse medical practice, which enables us to speak to a variety of patient needs. One of the things that we’re proud of is that 69 percent of our primary-care physicians are women, and 43 percent of our doctors are from different ethnic minorities. Within that category, 21 percent of our providers are African-American, compared to the national average of 5.7 percent. And among our behavioral health providers, 20 percent identify with the LGBTQ community.
If it’s important to you, you can find a provider at Doctor On Demand who looks like you or identifies with you. When choosing a provider, look through our profiles, which contain photos and short bios. The images and personal details that providers share may increase your comfort and confidence levels when discussing sensitive topics with them.
Because we see patients through video visits, we value communication. We’ve always only hired empathetic doctors who listen well, demonstrate patience, and will let you talk initially uninterrupted to explain your situation. That’s one reason why we average 4.9 out of 5.0 on patient satisfaction ratings, the highest in our field. Yet we’re always working to improve.
Inspired by George Floyd and the events of 2020, we started a new training program for our providers called You Matter. We’re working to sensitize our providers to avoid bias and judging people by their background, including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. As a society, we’re working to bridge gaps between groups, to live and work together more harmoniously and to understand each other better. You Matter here.
At Doctor On Demand, our providers strive to be sensitive, open, and understanding. We ask ourselves daily if we’re serving our patients in ways that make them feel comfortable. People sense that, and they open up to us. We pride ourselves on our relationships. You Matter here.
If you’re seeking a healthcare provider who identifies with your background, search our physician profiles for someone who meets your needs. At Doctor On Demand, our diverse team of board-certified physicians, therapists and psychiatrists are available 7 days a week for video visits.
About the author
Prentiss Taylor M.D. is the Vice President of Medical Affairs at Doctor On Demand. He is board-certified in Preventive Medicine as well as in Internal Medicine. Prentiss is an honors graduate of Harvard University and of Harvard Medical School. He trained at the University of Chicago Hospitals and at Rush University Medical Center for his postgraduate years. After working for Advocate in the 1990s, Prentiss was recruited to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, where he worked for over 6 years. He was promoted to Medical Director for Care Management, responsible for 1.2 million people in the Blue Cross PPO programs.