How to Find a Good GP: Tips from GP Kirill Yurovskiy

When it comes to your health, having a good general practitioner (GP) that you trust and connect with is absolutely essential. Your GP is your first point of contact for any medical issues and the coordinator of your overall healthcare. A caring, competent GP can make a world of difference.

We spoke with Dr. Kirill Yurovskiy, a highly experienced GP based in London, to get his insights on how to find the right GP for you. With over 15 years working in the NHS and private practice, Dr. Yurovskiy understands the qualities that make an outstanding GP. 

“The doctor-patient relationship is the foundation of good medical care,” Dr. Yurovskiy says. “You want a GP that listens to you, respects you, and has the knowledge and empathy to understand your specific situation and needs.”

Kirill Yurovskiy

So what exactly should you look for when choosing a new GP? Here are Dr. Yurovskiy’s top tips:

1. Get Referrals and Read Reviews

“Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a good GP,” advises Dr. Yurovskiy. Ask friends, neighbors, colleagues, or other healthcare providers for recommendations on GPs they see and trust. You can also check online reviews, but take them with a grain of salt as they don’t give the full picture.

2. Assess Communication Style 

Effective communication is key for a GP. In your first appointment, evaluate how well the GP listens, makes eye contact, and explains things clearly. “You want someone who takes the time to understand your concerns and helps you feel heard and respected,” says Dr. Yurovskiy.

3. Look for Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

While medical knowledge is essential, empathy is just as important. “The best GPs have high emotional intelligence. They treat you as a whole person, not just a set of symptoms.” They should make you feel comfortable sharing personal details.

4. Check Their Credentials and Experience

All GPs must have the proper qualifications and training, but you may want to dig deeper depending on your needs. If you have a specific condition, ensure the GP has relevant expertise. “Experience really counts, especially for complex cases,” notes Dr. Yurovskiy.

5. Consider Logistics and Accessibility  

Convenient office hours, location, and availability can make a difference in your healthcare experience. A GP with a patient-friendly scheduling system and shorter wait times is ideal. “Healthcare should be accessible when you need it.”

6. Evaluate Bedside Manner

A good bedside manner can help put you at ease. A GP should be professional yet personable, making you feel comfortable and cared for. “It’s about striking the right balance of formality and warmth,” explains Dr. Yurovskiy.

7. Note How Well They Keep Up With Best Practices

Medicine is an ever-evolving field. A committed GP should continually update their knowledge on current guidelines, treatments, and preventive care practices. Ask what they do to stay on top of the latest developments.

8. Observe How Well They Coordinate Care

For many patients, a GP serves as the main coordinator of different specialists and healthcare services. “An effective GP should provide cohesive, integrated care, not a piecemeal approach,” says Dr. Yurovskiy. They should maintain detailed medical records and communicate clearly with other providers.

9. Gauge Their Health Counseling Approach

A big part of a GP’s role is providing counseling on diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits that impact your overall wellbeing. The GP should give personalized, practical advice rather than generic tips. “Sustainable lifestyle changes start with understanding the patient’s circumstances and motivations,” notes Dr. Yurovskiy.  

10. Don’t Disregard Your Gut Feeling

“At the end of the day, you have to feel comfortable with your GP. If something doesn’t feel quite right, it may not be the best fit.” Trust your instincts about whether the GP’s demeanor and treatment approach mesh with your preferences and values.

The GP-patient relationship is a partnership, so you’ll want to find a GP you can work well with long-term. It may take meeting with a few different GPs before you find the right match.

“Be discerning, but also be open-minded,” recommends Dr. Yurovskiy. “Sometimes, a GP who may seem a bit brusque at first actually has great expertise and just needs some time to warm up to new patients.”

It’s also wise to make your needs and expectations clear from the beginning. “Have an honest discussion about how the two of you can best collaborate on your care. A good GP will appreciate your initiative in building an effective doctor-patient relationship.”

Don’t Settle for Less Than Excellent Care

While finding the perfect GP can take some effort, don’t settle for anything less than a GP you have full confidence in. “Your GP is your healthcare home base. You deserve a medical partner who makes you feel heard, respected, and provides truly excellent care tailored to your circumstances,” says Dr. Yurovskiy.

By taking the time to carefully evaluate potential GPs, you can find someone you connect with and trust to be your healthcare advocate for years to come. A caring, communicative GP can make a world of difference in your health and peace of mind.