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You Know It’s Time To Change Doctors When…

Have you ever thought you need to find a new doctor? Sometimes patients and doctors need to part their ways.  Some doctor-patient relationships are so good that gifts are exchanged.  Some are so bad that the doctor dismisses the patient from their clinic.

What about the patient who isn’t happy with the care they are receiving?  What about the patient who wants to find a new doctor?  Sometimes legitimate reasons exist.  Perhaps the patient and doctor do not agree on the recommended therapies.  When  the patient and doctor do not have the same goals in mind, sometimes it’s best for the patient to find a new doctor that can better work with their needs.

Sometimes patients want to find a new doctor for unnecessary reasons.  Frequently at Happy’s hospital I have to talk down patients who are upset that their outpatient physician missed the diagnosis or delayed the diagnosis.  What patients don’t understand is that delayed diagnosis is often part of the differential diagnostic process.  We do not do CT scans on every patient with shortness of breath looking for pulmonary embolism unless the defensive medicine based local standard says you do.    Some of the best internists in Happy’s town are often blasted by patients for not doing their job.  I always defend them and correct patient misconceptions about the poor care they received.

Sometimes patients feel they or their loved ones were placed in harms way by a doctor’s failure to recognize red flag situations.  If a patient loses trust in the doctor’s abilities, it’s time for them to find a new doctor.

I have been fired only a couple times in seven years as a hospitalist.  I have fired two or three patients from my service due to a variety of abusive situations.  But what is the greatest reason I was asked by a  23 year old single mother of three to help them find a new doctor?

“I was pregnant and my doctor didn’t know it until after I delivered”

Yes ma’am.  A new primary care doctor is exactly what you need.

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist Blog*


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One Response to “You Know It’s Time To Change Doctors When…”

  1. ann tomsho says:

    I suspect a very frequent reason patients seek new doctors is MD’s poor “bedside manner” (which happens in offices too). The doctor who does not treat the relationship as an equal partnership, and the patient with dignity, will lose out.

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