Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (1)

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*

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

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.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »