“They” say that if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything—and to me that rings true. My health is my life. Or, I should say my health makes the quality of my life possible. And, when it comes to the health issues that really count, like preventing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia—which all run in my family—I trust one person’s authority: my doctor.

Working in the health care marketing industry I read an astounding number of articles and studies about every chronic disease prevention approach out there today, so I consider myself ultra-informed. I also talk to my friends and family about health and prevention. But, it’s my discussions with my doctor about what I’ve read, combined with what she knows, that ultimately helps me decide how to approach my health.

And I’m not alone when it comes to trust. In our latest research Why Patients Switch 2017, we interviewed 1,233 health care consumers in six different markets around the country about their relationship with their health care provider. 

63 percent of our survey participants said that their primary care physician was their most used, trusted and important source of health information.

As we interviewed our participants, we wanted to know how a doctor could gain their trust. So we asked, “What should a doctor say or how should they act to be trustworthy?” People told us:

  • clearly answer my questions
  • listen to my needs and input when considering health care options
  • confidently explain options, procedures and diagnoses
  • be able to explain my medical condition and be empathic at the same time
  • explain things in a way that is clear and easy to understand
  • understand my medical history better
  • be better at follow-up communication after tests or procedures
  • use a tone that is personable, caring and understanding