Red Flags that Indicate It’s Time to Change Doctors
While doctors need to have their license and the necessary qualifications to practice and continue doing so, like any field, there are excellent ones and people that are better to avoid. If you feel you’ve noticed signs that your medical practitioner isn’t the one for you, pay attention to your instincts.
It may be that you’re picking up on some red flags. With many doctors out there to choose from, there’s no point continuing to see a physician if you don’t trust them. Here are some common red flags that may indicate it’s time for you to move on to someone new.
They Push You to Agree with Everything
Have you found that your doctor pushes you to agree with everything they say? Or perhaps they’re very heavy-handed and want to ensure you follow all of their advice and to the letter? If you feel that a doctor thinks they know what’s best for your body and try to intimidate or fluster you into going along with their opinion, this is cause for concern.
While they’re the one with the medical degree and it’s wise to pay attention to what they say, no one knows your body better than you do. As such, if some of their advice doesn’t resonate with you or you want more time to think about which steps to take next, don’t let yourself get pushed into doing something you’re unsure about. A good doctor would never make you feel that you had no choice in what to do about your body.
They Disparage Other Professions or Doctors
Have you been surprised a few times to hear your doctor disparage other professions, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, masseuses, natural therapists, Bowen therapists, counselors, or others? If so, this is a red flag that your doctor isn’t open to new ideas or learning new things and wants to sway your opinion.
Similarly, be wary if your doctor says nasty, dismissive, or otherwise negative things about other physicians. Most professionals would never degrade a colleague or fellow worker in this way. If they’re not sure how good another doctor is, they’re more likely to tell you they can’t comment on or refer that person rather than saying concerning things.
They Put All Your Physical Symptoms Down to Mental Health
Another sign that it might be time to change doctors is when your current physician puts all your physical symptoms down to mental health every time you mention something. While depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges certainly can create physical issues, a doctor shouldn’t be too quick to assume where things stem from.
If you feel like your ailments are being ignored because a doctor seems to think it’s “all in your head,” it’s probably a good idea to move to a new medical practitioner.
The Doctor Seems Distracted
When you visit a medical practitioner, you’re there to share information and have the doctor listen attentively so they can diagnose or help treat what concerns you. If, however, the person you see, whether it’s an online doctor or someone you see face to face, seems distracted, this isn’t good.
Such behavior demonstrates a lack of respect and could be a sign that the physician is burned out, checked out, or never cared about their job too much to begin with. However, you should make sure they’re not just writing notes or looking at their computer to remind themselves of your file or another pertinent fact before you say goodbye to them. Don’t be afraid to ask a doctor what they’re writing or reading during an appointment if your gut instinct tells you the person has tuned you out.
You Feel Uncomfortable
Anyone who feels uncomfortable every time they see their doctor, especially if they have to discuss more sensitive issues, isn’t in the right place. A crucial part of a physician’s job is to show patients that they’re in a safe space and can trust and relax in the doctor’s presence and open up about ailments and other health concerns. If you can’t do that, don’t blame yourself.
It may be that the physician is dismissing your ideas and feelings or talking over the top of you, being rude or arrogant, or conveying other signs that make you feel ill at ease. Instead of worrying about hurting a doctor’s feelings, consider your own and visit another practitioner to see if the fit is better. You may even need to try a couple of different people before you locate the doctor who’s right for you.
Always pay attention to the signs, both subtle and obvious, that it’s time to change doctors, so you don’t waste time on one that doesn’t work for you.