5 Reasons to Get a New Doctor

Health
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By Sharon Hollander

Learn more about Sharon on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor

As health care changes continue, it is important for patients to select doctors who will provide the best care.  Below is an excerpt from my book, “Medical Billing Horror Stories,” that outlines the top five reasons to get a new doctor. 

1. Your doctor doesn’t listen to you.

Your doctor should not interrupt you before you complete a thought. If your doctor seems to be doing everything but listening while you are talking, chances are, he or she will miss something you say that  could be essential to getting the proper care.  If your doctor is distracted, takes phone calls or doesn’t give you his or her undivided attention, it is time to look elsewhere.  You don’t want a doctor who never remembers anything you say and treats you like a new patient each time you visit the office.

2. Your doctor doesn’t believe you’re sick.

Does your doctor often attribute your symptoms to stress, hormones, age, or say they’re nothing to worry about? Does he or she make you feel that you are imaging these symptoms? Your doctor should always take your concerns or illnesses seriously.

3. Your doctor dismisses alternative care.

If you request a specific test or treatment, you should get it or a valid explanation as to why not.  Avoid any doctors who dismiss natural or alternative treatments, or your request to see a specialist.

4. 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. Research on the Internet is not meant to substitute for sound medical advice, but you should feel comfortable enough with your doctor to present and discuss anything you’ve researched.

5. Your doctor is arrogant and inconsiderate.

If your doctor is condescending or rude, you may not want to stick around his or her office.  You don’t have to stay in a doctor-patient relationship that makes you uncomfortable.  In addition, you may want a different doctor if the wait time or time to get an appointment is excessive. Avoid practices where the office and medical staff are just plain rude. If the office staff fails to deliver messages to your doctor, does not call in prescriptions in a timely manner, or misplaces your information, you may face major problems, and such lapses may be reason enough to start searching for a doctor with a more reliable and friendly staff.

There are many caring doctors out there. Don’t settle for less.