Health care is so important, and it’s essential that you respect your doctor and trust them for your own well-being. This person quite literally can have your life in their hands at various times. Too often people don’t trust or like their health care providers and this can put them at risk.
So what should you do if you have a health care provider you don’t like?
Common Reasons People Don’t Like Their Doctor
If you don’t like your doctor, you aren’t alone. This is something many people feel. Patients often feel that they don’t want to tell their doctor what’s going on with their symptoms and their health because they don’t have the trusting, open relationship they want.
Top reasons people say they don’t like their doctors include:
- Their doctors don’t listen. Perhaps the number one complaint we have about our doctors, as well as our children’s doctors, is that they don’t listen. Doctors face serious time constraints with the number of patients they have to see, and they’ll often breeze in and out and patients just don’t feel like they’re hearing them or really listening to their concerns or questions.
- Their doctors seem like they don’t care. Bedside manner is important, but it’s not always something a health care provider has mastered. There are some doctors with bad attitudes or doctors who don’t care, of course, but sometimes the issue is more with chemistry or is perhaps a misunderstanding. You also have to keep in mind that everyone has a different personality, and they might as a result not get along with their doctor because of that. Some people prefer a dry, to-the-point doctor, while others prefer a warmer doctor.
- Their doctor talks down to them. Another reason people don’t like their doctor is that they think that the person talks down to them. This is something doctors may come off as doing, but the reality is that they are trying to ensure they are speaking in a way that their patient will understand so there’s no confusion.
Should You Fire Your Doctor?
Some of the common reasons people don’t like their doctor aren’t always the fault of the doctor.
As was touched on, it can be a personality issue, and sometimes we can’t help that, but it doesn’t mean you have to stick with your doctor anyway, because you have the right to find someone whose personality you feel you mesh with.
The following are some of the signs and red flags that you should consider finding a new doctor or a new doctor your child.
You Don’t Have a Good Feeling
What a lot of people don’t realize is that the relationship you have with your doctor is deeply personal, which means that if you don’t have a good gut feeling about the person or your relationship, that in and of itself can be enough of a reason to find a new doctor.
If you have even slight reservations about talking to your doctor honestly, that can have a serious impact on your health.
Your Personalities Don’t Match
If you want an empathetic doctor or a doctor who is warm in their personality, that’s ok. It’s also ok to like a doctor who is colder and more to-the-point. Some people get uncomfortable if they feel like their doctor is trying to sugarcoat things too much.
If you don’t have a similar personality, you’re not going to work well together, and the doctor-patient relationship is an important collaboration.
Your Time Isn’t Being Respected
There are a couple of different complaints patients often have as far as their doctor and their time. They either feel like their doctor is always late or making them wait and not respecting their time, or they’re rushing them. Sometimes both are an issue.
If your doctor is habitually making you wait, you can find a new doctor. Similarly, while doctors are busy people like all of us, you should never feel rushed when you’re discussing something as important as your health.
There’s No Transparency
A doctor should not just order the right tests and prescribe the right medicines, but they should also be open and honest with you as far as why they’re requesting these things, and what your results are.
If your doctor does tests and never calls you with results, you might want to fire that person. If your doctor seems unwilling to explain their reasoning, again, it might be time to find another doctor.
Along with a lack of transparency, a doctor who’s difficult to get in touch with or never returns your calls can be problematic.
You Feel Uncomfortable
If you are uncomfortable with your doctor, or not at ease discussing things with them, then you’re probably a bad match. You could be putting your health at risk by continuing to see someone you’re not comfortable with.
Your Doctor is Condescending
One reason that people’s serious medical issues often go undiagnosed is that their doctor brushes them aside and doesn’t take them seriously.
If someone treats you in a condescending or rude way, go elsewhere for care.
How to Fire Your Doctor
If you do decide to fire your doctor, you need what’s called continuity of care. This means that you don’t want to have to repeat tests with your new doctor, and you want a smooth transition of your records.
This is why you can’t just change doctors without letting them know.
You can tell your doctor over the phone, which is the simplest way to let them know you want your records transferred. If you want to be formal or you have a more in-depth relationship with the doctor, you might write a letter or visit the office to let them know.
Overall, your life and your health are too important to let yourself be stuck with medical care that you don’t like or aren’t comfortable with. If you see red flags, do something about it and serve as an advocate for yourself.