Choosing a primary care physician for specific medical needs is an important decision. Your doctor will play a vital role in your quality of life and should be trusted to give that obligation all the effort and concern it deserves. A doctor who cannot or will not meet your needs, nor refer you to someone who can, is a liability to your health.
As such, we should hold our doctors to a very high standard and be willing to find a new doctor if the need arises. But how can we recognize when that time has come?
The Health and Fitness Cheat Sheet offers a rough guide to important matters one should consider when choosing a new doctor or deciding whether or not to leave a current one. We’ve taken the liberty of pulling some highlights from their list that will help you identify high-priority issues in the quality of your care.
- Avoid Doctors You Don’t Trust: If you have doubts or concerns about your doctor, you shouldn’t dismiss them. Instead, you should begin to look into whether or not your concerns are well-founded. Remember that patients are less likely to follow treatment plans offered by doctors they don’t trust. This is a great risk to take, as failure to care for health problems can cause future complications.
- Avoid Dismissive and Rude Doctors: A doctor who does not take your symptoms or concerns seriously, and does not treat you with a basic level of respect, is putting your health at risk. Ignoring, waving off, or refusing to test in response to real issues you are having can cause health problems to remain undiagnosed and grow worse. A doctor who does not respect you enough to act professionally is hard to accept as providing the best care.
- Find A Doctor That Fits Your Schedule: Constant games of phone tag make it difficult to move forward in necessary treatment and can delay needed care, allowing conditions to worsen. Likewise, waiting on a doctor who seems to have no time for you and your needs can lead to conditions being overlooked or forgotten. Find a doctor you can contact when needed, one who can devote time to your scheduled visit without leaving you in the waiting room all day.
What To Do
If your doctor is not meeting your medical needs or shows serious issues, such as taking offense to the idea of second opinions or making known mistakes in your care, you should feel free to seek better medical care. We encourage you to take your time to do research and learn about other doctors in your area; do not leave your current practice without having a new doctor settled. For most situations, a simple change will be enough; in the case of significant personal issues, it may be helpful to inform your doctor’s management about concerns that are making you consider leaving the practice.
But when major issues, like medical malpractice, are a factor, you need legal help to get the care you deserve. If you are concerned about the quality of your care, contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help you and the steps you can take on your own.