I was brought up to respect my elders and to listen to what they told me. I always looked at doctors with awe and listened intently to anything they would tell me and to always follow their directions. But lately, I am realizing that they too are just people, doing a job. Unfortunately, they are not fully invested in helping me get well. I am just another appointment on their calendar to get through. Heck, they don’t even show up on time for 90% of the appointments.
As I sat waiting in a doctor’s office yesterday afternoon, I had plenty of time to think. The appointment was at 1:15 and I was seen by the doctor at 3:45. The doctor is a genuinely nice man, highly respected in his field and his staff is exceedingly friendly (which is a big plus), but I still had to wait over 2 hours.
I will continue to see this doctor, as I value his advice and he is very respectful and courteous and doesn’t rush you during the exam (which is why you have to wait so long), but their are other doctors that I am currently seeing that I am seriously considering severing the relationship with.
I recently read an article about the relationship with your doctor and it stated “With a good doctor, you always leave the office feeling that they care about you.” I can’t say that is true in most of my experiences. I guess I’m not alone in feeling like this because the article also states that 2/3 of patients worldwide say that they are dissatisfied with their doctors, but many stick with them anyway because they assume all doctors will treat them the same way. The other major reason we stick with a doctor is because we are worried about offending them or we are just so overwhelmed by the idea of finding someone new and starting all over again.
I am guilty of these 3 reasons of sticking with doctors, long after I know I should move on. Recently, I had a test done at a lab and sent copies of the results to 2 different doctors (Dr. E and Dr. G).
Dr E. called me back within a week to discuss my results and a plan of action to help me improve the situation. It involves starting a new medicine, with major possible side effects. Dr. E spent a substantial amount of time on the phone with me answering my questions and then gave me her email address and said if I have any side effects or any additional concerns, just drop her an email. I have always loved this doctor and her handling of my current situation is just another reason why I am glad I did change doctors, because the previous specialist I was seeing was so rude and dismissive to me, that I left the office in tears (that’s the first and last time I hope that happens). But even after I left the office in tears, I told myself that maybe she’s having a bad day and I should give her another chance. I did use her one more time and while she wasn’t as rude, I just didn’t like the experience in her office, even with her help. They weren’t understanding of my needs and I promised myself I would look for another doctor.
Getting back to my current results, Dr. G’s office called me back two weeks after the test was done and the assistant requested that I make an appointment to see the doctor to discuss the results. I explained my situation and asked if the doctor could get on the phone for 5 minutes and I could discuss the treatment plan my other doctor suggested. The following day the assistant called me back and said I have to come in to see the doctor and that she wouldn’t be giving me advice over the phone.
Now which doctor do you think I’m going to continue to see? In this situation, it’s really cut and dry, but many situations aren’t as clear. The article stated there are 5 common signs that suggest you need to change your doctor. They are:
- The doctor. doesn’t tailor recommendations to your life
- The doctor is always running late
- The doctor rushes you
- The office is disorganized
- The doctor is arrogant
So from now on, I will periodically reevaluate my satisfaction with the doctors I see (and unfortunately there are many). If I don’t feel as if I’m working as a team with my doctor and that we are not partners in this important relationship, I will look for another doctor.
It’s easier to find a doctor these days, then it is a potential mate, so why suffer with either relationship when you know in your heart it’s time to move on.