If you find yourself dreading the next doctor visit, maybe it’s time to take a long hard look at this relationship. It’s crucial for your health that you feel comfortable during every visit without holding back from voicing your concerns for fear of “upsetting” your physician. And so, seeing a doctor who doesn’t let you relax and speak up can be hazardous to your well-being. You must know it’s okay to switch doctors, whether for the little things or more serious issues.
Fortunately, we live in an era where healthcare resources are available in abundance. While it is true advancements in medicine are making services more cost-effective, time-efficient, and accessible, they’re also becoming more patient-centric. This shifting paradigm essentially means that seeking advice from a doctor you can sincerely trust and feel reassured with is much more possible now. Therefore, if you have second thoughts about your current physician, perhaps parting ways is the best and healthier choice. Although it may seem intimidating, it’s for your good and not something you can or should compromise on.
Here are six signs that indicate it’s time to change doctors.
Your doctor doesn’t listen to you
When you visit a healthcare professional, you’re at your most vulnerable and want to seek advice to get better. However, you may find that while you’re describing your symptoms, your doctor’s engrossed in the computer screen and barely paying any attention to what you’re saying. They may ignore a chronic issue and tell you that it’s normal without listening to the problem you describe.
For example, your doctor may dismiss your pain during childbirth, telling you it’s part of the process. In some cases, this dismissal can result in birth malpractice and cause severe consequences for you or your baby. Please don’t feel obligated to stick with your doctor only because they’re the best in business. If they’re not giving you the attention you deserve, it’s time to cut your losses.
Your doctor doesn’t respect your time
While it’s typical to schedule an appointment to visit your doctor, it doesn’t mean they must keep you waiting long hours once you’re there. You may excuse an occasional delay since health professionals often have to attend to emergencies, but routinely rescheduling or canceling an appointment is inexcusable. It’s possible your ill health can’t afford to skip routine doctor’s visits, as the constant postponing or late meetings may worsen your condition. If you think it’s near impossible to see your doctor when you need to, you might want to consider switching to the one you get to visit.
Another thing you must factor in is how much time you spend in the waiting room versus how much time you get with the doctor. If you’re waiting long hours but getting proper attention at the end, maybe it’s worth it. However, having a prescription shoved your way after an hour of wait should have you looking for the next doctor immediately.
Your doctor is unwilling to explore alternative therapies
Modern medicine has brought forth several opportunities to pursue in the hopes of curing diseases that were once incurable. Alternative therapies undergo intense research and clinical trials before making them safe for patient use. Their health benefits exceed conventional treatments and can help patients live a longer and healthier life.
Unfortunately, not all doctors favor these therapeutics and instead prefer sticking to the traditional approaches. At times, the solution to your illness may not lie in these old methods. And while advanced alternative strategies may exist, your doctor might not be ready to explore them. They may be right if they take the time to outline their pros and cons and explain why they’re not the appropriate option for you. But if their refusal stems from a lack of interest or not being up to date with the latest advancements, maybe you should start looking elsewhere.
Your doctor doesn’t communicate properly
Communication is vital in every relationship or partnership, regardless of whether it’s a professional or personal. Effective communication ensures you receive the best care and keeps you in the loop regarding every treatment plan step.
As a patient, you must primarily have a good communication strategy with your doctor that works well both ways. However, doctors may sometimes dive into medical jargon when explaining your condition and get you perplexed about all they’re saying. Since you likely don’t have the same qualification as your physician, you may find all this confusing and perhaps even surprising. If this happens, it’s best to ask your questions and ask the doctor to clarify everything you couldn’t understand. If you’re unable to voice your concerns or the doctor’s answers are still unclear, consult someone you find easier to communicate with.
Your doctor discourages you from getting a second opinion
Proficient doctors are confident with their diagnosis and have no problem with their patients wanting to get a second opinion. But if your doctor discourages you or gets upset when you bring up the idea of a second opinion, they’re more concerned about their ego than you.
A physician’s primary focus is taking care of their patient’s needs and respecting them to the best of their capabilities. This includes letting them consult another physician or specialist before deciding to undertake a particular treatment or medical procedure. Getting better doesn’t only rely on your physical health, but your emotional and mental health also plays a huge role. If you’re not satisfied with how your doctor treats you, seeking advice from another professional is wise.
Your doctor is “prescription-happy”
While medications can offer life-changing benefits for several health conditions, they’re not always the greatest solution. It’s a red flag if you see your doctor reaching for the prescription pad before you’re even through describing your feelings. A professional healthcare worker first patiently listens to all your symptoms and concerns, diagnoses your problem, explains it, and discusses possible treatment options. In some cases, this may be a prescription, but it’s not always the best approach.
Since doctors are often overworked and burnout, they tend to overprescribe to provide a quick fix. However, each patient is different, and unless your doctor takes the time to understand your illness correctly, they can’t offer you the right therapeutic either.
More often than not, doctors have their patients’ best interests at heart. After all, this is what their profession is all about. So, if any of these warning signs sound similar, it’s time to switch doctors. Several other physicians are ready to provide you with the care and peace of mind you deserve.