Friday, February 26, 2010

How to Know When Your Doctor Sucks

{{es|The Doctor. Hermosa panorama de la profes...Image via Wikipedia
Are you aware that you can fire your doctor?

Every time I visit a doctor, I act like a client, not a patient. Patients can't fire doctors; customers can. Doctors are like fish in the ocean and you can easily get another and another and another until you find one who treats you like you deserve to be treated. Pay out of pocket if you have to. What is more important than your health?

Here are reasons I have fired more than 15 doctors and took my insurance or my cash elsewhere:
  • They spend 15 minutes or less with you and act rushed and very non-interested in hearing about your health concerns.
  • They interrupt you a lot and/or finish your sentences for you.
  • They are more than 20 minutes late and never apologize for keeping you waiting.
  • They are arrogant, haughty and full of themselves and thus have no time for you as there is only so much room in that brain of his and it is filled with thoughts of his awesomeness.
  • They refuse to give you a copy of YOUR lab work. It is YOUR body and YOU are legally permitted to have YOUR lab results.
  • They tell you "it's all in your head." That one causes me to stand up and walk out immediately without saying a word to the doctor. Even if I am sitting there in that flimsy paper gown, I will grab my things and change in the bathroom. He can figure it out later why I walked out, if he even cares that I did. It tends to at least startle them and give them an opportunity to wonder about what they might have said to offend you. Of course they also can decide you are indeed crazy and it is in your head but at that point I don't care what that doc thinks as he is fired.
  • They refer you to any doctor ending with an -ologist in their title. This often means they have no idea why you are before them whining again about how tired you feel so they push you off down the road to an -ologoist who will then most likely give you a prescribed drug and never consider your body as a whole. There may be a real need to one day see an -ologist but be on the lookout for this cop out move by your primary doctor.
  • They say you fit the Four F Profile -- Forty, Fat, Female and Fertile. When a doctor has the nerve to lay this one out, I am so very thankful I never took that concealed weapon class after all because this line causes me to go postal. I am likely to respond by telling this sort of doctor that he/she forgot the fifth F: F**K YOU!
Okay, fine, not everyone feels comfortable using the f-bomb in a doctor's office. I think you might though if your body is falling apart for a few decades and doctor after doctor blows your concerns off. Or worse, they prescribe the wrong medicine or remove the wrong body part surgically from you and you end up sicker and sicker and sicker.

If you aren't willing to walk away from an incompetent or lazy or uncaring doctor, then you are saying that you are willing to stay sick. And sick you will stay.

My excellent thyroid doctor wrote this down for me on his stationary the very first visit I had with him: "Never let your doctor determine how you feel." Sage advice.

For tomorrow's post, I will share the ways to know if you are sitting before a truly remarkable doctor.

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