Finding the right doctor is incredibly important.
The doctor you entrust with your health can have a direct impact on not only the type of care you receive, but also your health outcomes. When you feel comfortable and can trust your doctor, you’re more likely to be upfront with them when you start to experience issues. You’ll also be more likely to actually schedule an appointment when something doesn’t seem right, as well as stay on top of your annual check-ins.
There are a lot of great family doctors and personal care providers out there, but unfortunately, not all of them are made equal, nor are they all a good fit for every patient. If you’re seeing a doctor that you’re not 100 percent sure about, it might be time to start looking for a new one.
Signs it’s Time to Find a New Doctor
#1. You don’t feel like they are listening.
The number one thing you need out of your primary care doctor is to listen to you. If they don’t listen, they can’t properly diagnose anything you may be going through, which means that they won’t be able to help you find an effective treatment option.
If you’re concerned about something, you need to know that that concern will be heard. And, if you don’t feel like your doctor is really listening, it might be time to look for a new one.
#2. It’s nearly impossible to schedule an appointment.
With the coronavirus pandemic, it may be more difficult than usual to schedule a physical appointment, but help should be available to you when you need it. That’s not to say that your primary care doctor should act as an emergency room or an urgent care doctor, but you should be able to schedule an appointment with them — even if it’s a virtual one — when you have concerns.
Doctors are incredibly busy these days, and many of them are requesting that non-essential, routine appointments be pushed back or canceled for the time being. However, many of them are taking appointments over the phone and will see you in person if you have a (non-respiratory) concern.
#3. Your personalities clash.
Sometimes, the problem is not that the doctor isn’t competent or willing to listen; sometimes, it’s just something as simple as conflicting personalities.
In order to get the best care from a primary care physician, you need to be able to be completely honest with them about what’s going on, your lifestyle, etc. If you don’t get along with someone, you’re not likely to feel as comfortable with them as you need to in order to be fully honest with them.
If your personality doesn’t mesh well with your doctor’s personality, don’t hesitate to look for another doctor. This may not seem like a big deal when you compare it to other factors, like a doctor’s experience or treatment style, but it can have a direct impact on the kind of care you receive.
#4. They don’t educate you on your options.
You should never be left wondering why a doctor recommended a specific treatment. You want a doctor who will fully explain the what and why of your treatment options.
If you don’t understand the why behind what your doctor prescribes, you’ll be less inclined to actually stick to it. Plus, if there are other options available to you, you should know what those are, as well as the pros and cons of each option.
When you have a doctor on your side who will educate you on your options, it empowers you to make more informed decisions about your health and wellness.
#5. They don’t respect your concerns or opinions.
You have the right to be a partner in your own health, which means that, when you have an idea, opinion, or concern to share, your doctor should be willing to hear you out with respectful consideration. I’m not saying that your doctor has to agree with everything you say; however, they shouldn’t make you feel silly or stupid about it.
If your doctor doesn’t agree with your opinion or idea, they should be able to tell you why, respectfully, and explain what their reasoning is. They shouldn’t bully you to try something that you’re not comfortable with. Instead, they should fully explain why they believe it’s your best option.
#6. The doctor’s office makes frequent mistakes.
Modern-day doctor’s offices can often be busy, chaotic places. Family care doctors are often required to also become businesspeople when they open their own practices, and that requires a whole other set of skills. Suffice it to say, some doctors handle the task better than others, and some doctor’s offices are better organized and run than others, as well.
The men and women who work at your doctor’s office are human, after all, which means that mistakes will happen from time to time. However, if your doctor’s office has a history of losing your paperwork, sending your prescriptions to the wrong pharmacy, failing to charge your insurance correctly, or making a long list of other common mistakes, it might be time to find a new one.
#7. You don’t feel like you can be honest with them.
There are a lot of areas in life when little white lies are no big deal, like, for instance, when your special someone asks how they look in a certain outfit, but when it comes to your health, honesty is always the best policy.
If nothing else, you should be able to be fully honest with your doctor about what’s going on and any concerns you may be having. Most health concerns only get worse over time without adequate treatment, so it’s important that you feel comfortable enough to tell your doctor what’s going on right away.
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