Deadly Medicine: When your doctor is hazardous to your health
The concept of a healthy is relationship is not new. Developing and cultivating how people interact with one another is important. Remember being told to “play fair” and to “make sure you share” when you were a little kid? Even as a young adult you learned the importance of “being transparent” and the importance of good communication. This is also important with any doctor-patient relationship.
Patients regularly place their lives in the hands of medical professionals to stay healthy and alive. This works best in healthy relationships that create an environment for long-standing trust and communication. So, when the doctor/patient relationship is compromised, your health may be compromised.
Historically, medical doctors have been seen as experts in their field, and for the most part, they should be. They have gone through rigorous training and have a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding human anatomy and physiology. Yet, some people may interpret this expertise as “law” giving away their ability to ask or do something differently.
Even though healthcare has evolved in such a way that the patient has become the center of their care, these changes have not been communicated well to all. This results in many people settling for “provider-centered” care instead. Simply put: When you are not the focus of your care, bad things could happen.
You not being the center of your care may present in different ways:
Being diagnosed with a medical condition without explanation
A provider dismissing your concerns as the patient
Feeling like the doctor or office never has time and is always too busy
Medications or treatment offered without a discussion of any options
Inability to reach the doctor (or their representative) in cases of emergencies or complications
The supporting clinical staff is not supportive or, “seems mean” to the patients
Symptoms are not addressed or told “it’s probably nothing” without a thorough workup
The truth is, there is no required time that anyone should stay with their doctor. If you feel like the “vibe” is off with your healthcare provider then change providers. It doesn’t always mean that the doctor is bad, it’s just they may not be the right one for you...and that’s okay.
Changing your doctor because they are wrong for you is a healthy thing to do. In the best case, you may not be receiving the care you deserve. In the worst case, your loyalty to the wrong healthcare provider could turn into you dying.
If you test drove a car and the steering wasn’t what you expected or the ride was too bumpy for you, would you still make the commitment to purchase this car hoping it would turn into something you wanted? Of course not! So why commit to a healthcare provider or medical group for the same reasons? You have options! Finding a provider that fits your health needs and the needs of your family is the only commitment that is required. It may take a little research and time, but it’s definitely possible.
Dr. Gina Simone