By Dr. Maria Simbra

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a fast and easy new way to find the best doctor for you and your family.

It’s like “speed dating,” but instead of meeting “Mr. Right,” you meet “Dr. Right.”

The event brought out a number of hopeful doctors.

“I’m, uh, newly practicing in the community. I want to meet as many patients and people in the area as I can,” says AHN orthopedic surgeron, Dr. Brian Kelly.

“I’m a goofy guy wearing a duck on my shirt, so I tend to get a fairly positive reception,” says Dr. Jason Fronczak, of Family Practice Medical Associates.

“I don’t think I’m going to get much attention. They put me back here in the corner,” says AHN radiation oncologist, Dr. Daryl Makishi.

Dozens of prospective patients showed up to check them all out. Some are new to the area, some had doctors who retired, and others have specific health care needs.

People can come and meet a variety of doctors, check them out, see if they’re a good fit.

A brochure lists them all, with headshots, specialties, and fun facts. But, at this point, there’s no app to swipe.

“I did pick out a couple online, though,” admits one event-goer seeking a doctor.

The event had a casual, cocktail party mood with a food bar, health assessments, swag and lots of mingling.

Some say it’s a better way to meet a doctor than in an exam room.

“It gives people a chance to actually have some face time with their potential physicians. I like that,” said one prospective patient.

At the latest “Meet Dr. Right This Way” event, there were 18 doctors and 140 potential patients. And what is ideal? Well, everyone is looking for something a little different.

“Eye contact, really listening.”

“Somebody who explains to me what’s going on.”

“Someone with experience.”

“Females. I feel more comfortable with female physicians.”

And the doctors all offer something different, too.

“We do pelvic exams for women. We offer women’s care, we do joint injections, trigger point injections,” says nurse practitioner Sami Lee Ingros.

“Someone with breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung, those patients, could be treated locally here,” says Dr. Makishi.

“Lots of friendly faces, office staff is great, and we have evening appointments Monday through Thursday til 6 p.m.,” says physician assistant Jamie Flynn.

Because they greatly outnumber the doctors, patients can be picky.

“I’m not going to look for another older doctor, because I don’t want to have to switch again. And, so, I’m looking for someone a little bit younger this time,” says Michael Meseck.

Dr. Maria: “Describe your ideal doctor.”

Marjan Michlik: “Somebody who takes time, you know, not somebody who goes, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, next.'”

Dr. Maria: “Any deal breakers?”

Susan Grego: “I don’t like anybody who will look at the floor, or not pay attention, or, you know, pass off a symptom as no big deal, because then I think you’re no big deal.”

The latest event was in Peters, but you can “Meet Dr. Right” at different locations across the area every couple weeks. Some are geared toward expectant moms and LGBT patients. Registration is requested but not required, and the chance to meet the doctor of your dreams is always free.

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