Many people also find that they feel a bit intimidated by their physicians, and once with a doctor, don't feel they have the right to switch, or worry that they will offend the doctor.
Remember – in a doctor-patient relationship, YOU are the client, and the doctor is providing a service. And if that service is not meeting your needs, the best thing you can do for your health is to find the right doctor who will meet your needs.
This is especially important when you have a chronic health concern that will keep you returning to your doctor regularly. Your relationship with your doctor is the foundation of your health and well-being. The wrong doctor may make it difficult – if not impossible – to return to wellness and optimal health.
How do you know when it's time for a new doctor? Here are some signs.
1. Your doctor doesn't respond to calls or faxes.
- Do you find yourself leaving message after message, but not getting a return call for days?
- Are you ending up going several days without thyroid medicine because your doctor won't approve a refill until you make an appointment?
- Are you ending up going several days without thyroid medicine because your doctor's office hasn't called in a refill, despite your requests?
- Are you finding out that the office staff are not getting your messages to the doctor?
- Are the office staffmembers rude on the phone, or in the office?
- Does the office regularly make billing mistakes, overcharge you, or lose paperwork?
- Have you ever showed up for a scheduled appointment, only to be told that there's no record of your appointment?
- Does your doctor refuse to look at any information you bring in from the Internet?
- Does your doctor think that everything on the Internet is foolish quackery, and tell you so?
- Is your doctor entirely unaware that the National Library of Medicine, most major medical journals, and the literature from most professional medical organizations is on the Internet?
- When you bring up a symptom or concern, does your doctor quickly assume that it's something like “age, hormones, not enough sleep” and fail to explore other medical causes?
- If you request a test for a particular condition, does your doctor say “You don't have that condition,” and refuse to order a test?
- If you asked for a different drug, or a new drug for your condition, does your doctor usually refuse, without a reasonable explanation?
- Do you always leave your doctor's office with bottles and jars of vitamins, supplements, powders and potions, and books, videos or other materials that set you back several hundred dollars, and that the doctor claims you can only get from him/her?
- Does your doctor regularly recommend remedies that only he or she sells?
- Does your doctor regularly recommend costly treatments, provided at his or her office, that are not covered by your insurance?
- Do you find surprises in your bill, and charges that you don't understand, and can't get decently explained?
- Does your doctor pop in and out of the examining room or office to take phone calls while you are having an appointment?
- Does your doctor sit at his or her desk and read, go through mail, or type on the computer while you are having an appointment?
- Do you find that your doctor is asking you the same questions over and over, indicating that he or she doesn't remember what you've said?
- Does your doctor view each appointment independently, and not remember symptoms or conditions you've had in the past?
- Does your doctor fail to pull our your chart and review your history for a few moments to look for patterns in symptoms?
- Do you get the feeling like your doctor never has read your chart or history?
- Does your doctor have mousepads, pens, pencils, prescription pads, calendars, mugs, patient information literature, wall charts and posters, and other paraphernalia with drug or pharmaceutical company logos plastered on them?
- Does your doctor refuse to allow you to switch to competing brands of drugs, but fails to provide a rational reason other than “this drug is just better?”