Reasons To Break-Up…With Your Doctor

african doctor examining female patient( — The decision to break up with your doctor is not one to take lightly. Like any relationship, a doctor-patient relationship is a very personal one and it’s not easy to end one that has been long term, but no bad relationship is worth holding on to. If you have an “unhealthy” relationship with your doctor or are overall unsatisfied, it may be time to cut ties and move on to a new doctor. Here are 10 signs that it may be time to find a new doctor:

1. Your doctor doesn’t listen to you.
You speak and your doctor talks. Your doctor should not regularly interrupt you before you complete a thought. If your doctor seems to be doing everything but listening while you are talking chances are he’s not going to get the full picture of your symptoms or concerns.

2. Your doctor doesn’t believe you’re sick when you do.
Does your doctor often attribute your symptoms to stress, hormones, age or imagination? Do you leave far too many appointments questioning whether you’re a hypochrondriac? The fact is your doctor should always take your concerns seriously. If you ask for a test, within reason, you should get a test. If you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia you need your doctor to take your illness seriously instead of dismissing it as a wastebasket diagnosis.

3. Your doctor is opposed to all alternative treatments.
It’s important to tell your doctor about any alternative treatments or supplements you’re considering before you start taking them. Unfortunately, many doctors are quick to dole out lectures anytime the term “alternative treatment” comes up in conversation. Don’t feel foolish for considering treatments other than medicine. Get a second opinion from a doctor who is open to natural and alternative treatment.

4. Your doctor is not willing to consider your ideas.
When you ask for a lab test, request a new medication or express concern about a symptom does your doctor dismiss you without explanation? If the answer is yes your doctor is not appropriately addressing your concerns.  Always ask for an explanation when your doctor tells you no. You deserve some say in what happens to you and your body.  Your doctor should further explain his refusal. Sometimes it might be because a new medication doesn’t have enough research to back it in his opinion, other times it may be your doctor’s own personal beliefs guiding his decisions. Regardless of the reason you deserve to know why your ideas are constantly shot down.

5. Your doctor refuses to look at any research or information you find on the Internet.
It’s your right as a patient to do your own research on symptoms and illnesses. While you should by no means rely on websites to diagnose yourself, you can use Internet research to gain a better understanding of illnesses, medication and treatments. You should feel comfortable enough with your doctor to present and discuss anything you’ve researched on the Internet.

6. Your doctor doesn’t want to refer you to a specialist.
Doctor’s have egos too. If you ask your doctor for a referral to a specialist and she refuses or seems very hesitant she may feel offended. Let your doctor know you will follow up with her as soon as you’ve soon the specialist to let your doctor know her opinion matters to you as well.

7. Your doctor views each appointment as an isolated event.
Every time you see your doctor he should at least know your name and basic health concerns without having to ask you to rehash your entire medical history. No, your doctor doesn’t have to have the most amazing memory in the world, but a quick glance at your chart should be enough to refresh your doctor’s memory. If you get the new patient treatment every time you visit that isn’t a good sign, especially if you have an ongoing illness. You need a doctor who is observant enough to look for patterns and evaluate treatment history.

8. Your doctor is arrogant and inconsiderate.
Some people may be fine with a straightforward, no nonsense doctor. However, if you get the feeling your doctor is talking down to you in a condescending manner you may not want to stick around his office much longer.  Your time is just as valuable as any doctor’s and you don’t have to stay in a doctor-patient relationship that makes you feel belittled.

9. Your doctor’s office staff is often rude or unreliable.
Sometimes a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If the office and medical staff are just plain rude, you need to make a complaint. If the office staff fail to deliver messages to your doctor, do not call in prescriptions in a timely manner, or misplace your information it can cause you major problems and may be reason enough to start searching for a doctor with a more reliable and friendly staff.

10. Your doctor refuses to cooperate with other health care professionals.
When you are dealing with a number of different doctors including specialists and physical therapists, you need your primary care physician to be on the same page. A doctor who is unwilling to work as part of a team for your benefit is a doctor worth replacing.  You cannot sacrifice quality health-care to hold on to a doctor-patient relationship that is not working out for you.

Remember that no physician is perfect, and your doctor’s personality may not work with yours but may be great for another patient.  It takes both the patient and the doctor to forge a bond that will in the end be beneficial to you and your health. If you don’t feel like you’re getting the kind of care you feel you need, don’t feel bad for seeking out a new doctor.