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Question:Do you ever feel intimidated by your doctor?

Depending on the situation I'm in, I will either fight tooth and nail or shrink quietly. When I'm in a doctor's office, for some reason I don't feel right fighting with them when I think I'm being misdiagnosed or I need another medication. Does anyone else feel this way? Should I switch doctors?

Asked by LMAYO9 on 6/5/08 2 Answers»


Well, it really depends. Have you been with this doctor for a long time and have an established relationship? Are you in a group practice where you see a different doctor everytime you have a problem, because continuity of care could be your problem. As a patient, you are also a consumer, and have the right to continuity of care, which means that if you are being taken care of be one member of the group you have the right to maintain your care with that member. On occasions, such as urgent visits, you may not be able to see that doctor you will need to see who ever is covering, but that goes with any practice.

If, however, this is a new doctor and you feel your needs are not being taken care of, or that he/she is not listening to you. Then you should consider choosing a new doctor. I would definitely ask around and if you know anyone in the medical field they can be a good resource.

I just recently went through an experience with a urologist, one that was recomended by my doctor. He failed to listen to me, disregarded my pain level and in the end performed a procedure that worsened my condition and had he listened to me I feel I would not have had that prcedure in the first place. I knew right after the painful procedure that it had not worked and proceded to search for a new urologist. A doctor I work for heard about my trouble and found me a wonderful new urologist,. He was late for my first appointment due to a delay in surgery and an emergency but when we met in the office he treated me like I was his only patient of the day. That's when I knew I was going to be well taken care of, he was able to take care of my problem and has maintained constant comunication with my PCP.

Also, remember the internet is a good source of information but it doesn't have the answers. Your doctor knows more about you than the internet so that medication you think you need might not actually be good for you due to medical reasons, but don't be afraid to ask why do you think this won't work for me? or Why do you think it could or could not be this as my problem? Ask them to explain why not just a little blurb. If that's what you get, say it's not good enough.
I did that with an ER doc and proved her wrong each time she tried to get away with not explaining anything. So, big egos can be deflated, just stand firm.

good luck :)

Answered by: perky1730 on 6/21/08


Please, do not be afraid to speak up for yourself. Remember, the doctor is actually your employee, you are paying him to do a job. If he is too busy to listen to you or brushes off your concerns, and this has happened more than a few times, then it is time to switch doctors. I had a PCP who I thought was great at first. When I started to become seriously ill, and he couldn't figure out what was wrong, he suddenly had no time for me, and told me it was menopause, and I would just have to learn to deal with it. I had collapsed at work from pain, had been falling, losing balance, was constantly dizzy, was losing the use of the right side of my body, and the pain in my neck was unbearable. I had had previous neck surgery. All this and he refused to have my neck xrayed or give me any pain meds to help me out. He kept insisting it was menopause. I told him where to go, changed doctors, found out my plate in my neck was rubbing against nerve endings because more discs had collapsed and become herniated and I needed immediate surgery. I also had 1 inch gallstones and my gall bladder needed to be removed before my neck surgery could be performed. The neurologist I was sent to said it was possible I had suffered a minor stroke, and I had suspicious white lesions on my brain, indicating MS. I have just finished the one year recovery period for the neck surgery where they had to take out my plate and replace it with another larger one; I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis of the neck, and chances are that it will continue to spread down my spinal column. Tests are inconclusive as to the MS, as I have had so much going on the past year because of the surgery. I have a long way to go, and many tests yet to have done to see what is wrong with me, as I still do not have proper use of the right side of my body, loss of balance, pain, dizzy spells, etc. My new doctor is wonderful, he sees me at the drop of a pin, often doesn't charge me if he has to see me more than once in a week, does not expect me to live in pain, and is willing to do trial and error with different meds to make my pain level manageable. I shudder to think where I would be now if I would have stayed with the other doctor thinking all this was from menopause. Please, speak up for yourself--this is the only life you have, and the quality of your life is largely in your hands. Do not accept an uncaring, unresponsive doctor. Interview them like you would a prospective employee, after all, one day your life may literally be in their hands. Good luck.

Answered by: SoSadNana on 6/21/08
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