I spent close to two years without a general practitioner when our insurance changed and the doctor I’d been seeing didn’t accept the new insurance.
I sat in limbo because I really didn’t want to change to doctors. I was able to get my rheumatologist to refill a couple of my prescriptions just so that I wouldn’t have to.
Being forced to change doctors when you don’t want to isn’t any fun. I kept putting off changing in hopes that my insurance would change again, but it didn’t. Eventually, I did get new insurance and I found a new general practitioner using the three steps to finding a good doctor.
In this case changing doctors wasn’t a choice, but I’ve had man other times where I’ve felt I needed to change, because my doctor was giving me very good reasons to do so. I can think of four really good reasons to change doctors even if you don’t have to.
Trust. This is probably the most important reason to change doctors. If you don’t trust your doctor it’s time to find a new one. You can’t feel comfortable with someone you don’t trust.
You will always be second guessing them and wondering if you couldn’t do better. I left a doctor for this reason shortly after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Her protocol for treatment let me know that I couldn’t trust her to be there for me.
You have to be able to trust your doctor to give you the best care and to be there for you. You have to be able to trust that they will not dismiss your complaints.
I think it’s just as important that the doctor trust you. They need to trust that the information you are giving them is correct and that you will follow through, not only their advice but on being the real primary provider of your healthcare.
If you aren’t out there researching for yourself and if you aren’t paying attention to your body then they can’t give you the best care possible because you aren’t giving them the best information possible.You have to be able to trust your doctor to give you the best care and to be there for you. Click To Tweet
Availability. Your doctor has to be available for you. I think this becomes even more important when you are dealing with a chronic illness where “urgent” situations may arise more frequently.
If you call and get put off, or the doctor is only in for short hours and doesn’t have an on-call person or you constantly are referred to the Nurse Practitioner that you don’t have the same level of trust in, then your doctor is not available for you.
Been there, done that and it sucks. The doctor should be able to see you in a timely manner and if they are not available, they should have someone on call. Referring patients to Urgent Care on a regular basis is not being available.
Time. Your time is valuable. If your doctor is constantly making you wait an hour or more to see them for just 10 minutes it’s probably time to find someone else, unless that doctor is just AMAZING!
Unfortunately, this one is primarily due to our insurance providers and the way that they bill. However, it may also be due to poor management in the office. But, more and more doctors make you wait an hour to see them for 10 minutes.
Too often they rush in the door and seem to barely listen to your primary complaint and don’t have time for questions. If you don’t have everything you need to ask written down and ask it fast you likely won’t get another chance.
Your doctor should be able to take the time to listen to you and discuss any issues with you that you have regarding your symptoms and treatment. If you feel your doctor isn’t listening to you, then it may be time to find another doctor.
Knowledge. It’s important to feel that your doctor knows what they are talking about. Too many doctors today take the info that is given to them by the drug reps as gospel and they are more than happy to just give you the latest drug available, regardless of side effects, when sometimes the older drugs will do just fine.
This again goes back to you doing your homework, so that you know what is out there. Don’t just listen to the commercials, all that tells you is who has the most expensive drugs and spends the most on advertising.
Read. The internet is full of information (and misinformation) so dig through it and learn about the potential drugs for your treatment. Use reliable sites like WebMD and Drugs.com to research meds before you start them. If your doctor prescribes a drug for you, read the information that comes with it and then go online and read more. Be aware of the side effects before you take the drug.
At the end of the day, you and your doctor have to be partners. If you want them to give you the best treatment then you have to hold up your end of the deal as well. They can’t give you the best treatment if you aren’t giving them the best information, if you aren’t trusting them, and if you aren’t informing yourself.
What reasons have you found to change doctors in the past?