Regardless of whether you’re new in town or just keen to make a change, there’s a lot to take into account when searching for the best family doctor in Singapore. After all, establishing a long-term relationship with a doctor you can trust and grow with can prove priceless; that’s why you want to make the right choice. That’s also why you’ll want to know about this new medical clinic in Singapore, and hear their tips on choosing a family doctor who’s right for you.
7 things to consider when choosing a family doctor
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when making this all-important decision.
#1 Make it personal
No two patients are the same, which is why healthcare that’s tailored to your individual needs is important. This is why DR CLARICE CHIA WOODWORTH and DR TSIN UIN FOONG set up Osler Health International as a smaller, more personalised medical clinic that provides primary healthcare for the entire family. This includes everything from women’s and men’s health services, teen healthcare, and children’s and newborn care to travel medicine, telemedicine, on-site medication dispensing, vaccinations and health screenings.
“Osler Health International’s ethos is patient-centric and is bespoke in the individualisation of the medical care required for each patient,” says Dr Woodworth.
This ability to listen is just so important when it comes to choosing a doctor; the best clinics don’t rush you in and out to get to the next patient. To be heard and understood is a vital part of the transaction. This is even more crucial when it comes to mental health needs; you need a doctor who has the empathy skills to really hear you.
Go with your gut. It’s easier to talk about private matters with someone you trust – and a good, trustworthy doctor is no exception. That’s why choosing a doctor who you can be open and honest with is truly worthwhile when it comes to your long-term wellbeing.
#2 Singapore experience
Don’t underestimate how important it is to find a family doctor in Singapore who isn’t just “passing through”. Over the years, experienced doctors have built up a wealth of trusted referrals and know who to trust should you need specialist care.
While Osler Health may be a brand new family medical clinic, the team of international multilingual doctors have looked after the global community in Singapore for many years now.
#3 Professional skills
Many GP doctors have special skills. For example, some are trained at putting in IUDs or have special training in family medicine. It’s a good idea to read the doctors’ bios and get recommendations.
#4 Native language skills
Choosing a family doctor who speaks your native language may very well be a key consideration for you, especially as an expat here in Singapore. Since your GP is the go-to resource for your healthcare needs, it’s easier if you can communicate as best as possible with the person who advises, examines and treats you, and helps you to make some of the most crucial decisions you’ll ever make about your wellbeing.
Luckily, some of the best doctors speak a variety of languages.
As an international clinic in Singapore, Osler Health has patients from all over the world. DR PETER CHIU, for instance, speaks German, English, Mandarin and Cantonese, which proves invaluable to many of his local and expat patients.
“As a German speaker, I tend to see a lot of German families. Being able to express the subtleties of what you need is always much easier in your native language. This is especially true for children. They feel comfortable talking to me, which is important when I do their developmental assessments,” he says.
#5 Your family make-up
If you have teenagers, you may want to consider choosing a doctor in Singapore who has experience with adolescents. Some doctors are more comfortable with certain demographics than others.
#6 Location matters
Of course, practicality is key, and location is always an important factor to consider when choosing a doctor. You may want to focus on finding a family medical clinic that’s right near your office so you can dash over on your lunch break. Or, you might find it most convenient to take the kids for their check-ups straight from school pick-up.
With this in mind, Osler Health has two clinics in prime locations across the island. The Raffles Hotel Arcade clinic – open since December 2020 – is centrally located and convenient for those working in the CBD.
The second location, set to open in March 2021, is conveniently located near international schools at The Star Vista building. This is particularly ideal for after-school visits, as it’s right near Tanglin Trust School, UWC South East Asia and Dover Court International School.
#7 And, remember… you have the choice!
If you see a doctor who isn’t a good fit, don’t forget that you have the right and choice to make a change. You can choose to see another doctor within the clinic or ask the receptionists for advice. Any quality clinic will happily direct you to a doctor that better fits your needs.
An expat medical clinic with compassion at its core
A major bonus in our book? This is an international team of doctors who clearly take corporate social responsibility seriously. For instance, as Osler Health’s ethos is all about compassion, it has set up a Giving Back programme, where the Osler doctors have pledged to give free PAP (smear) tests to their patients’ domestic workers. Many of the female domestic workers in Singapore are of an age where they are at risk of cervical cancer and many don’t have access to the same cervical cancer programmes that are routinely offered to women in other countries. You can learn more about the Osler Giving Back programme here.
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