When to Find a New Doctor

Often, when we have a doctor we see regularly, whether it’s a primary care doctor or a specialist, we don’t consider that we may need to fire them. A doctor is someone you probably think about having a long-term relationship with, and while that is beneficial, it’s not always the best option.

When your doctor isn’t listening to you, isn’t engaging with you or perhaps isn’t taking your symptoms seriously, it can put your health at risk. A doctor who isn’t doing their best for your health and well-being will potentially miss a diagnosis or make a wrong diagnosis. They might prescribe the wrong medication for you, not recommend seeing the correct specialist, or they could let a problem go on too long so that it becomes worse.

Having a great doctor is essential, and the following are some signs it could be time for you to find a new provider.

There’s a Lack of Communication

There are a lot of indicators of poor communication occurring between a doctor and a patient. Examples include:

  • You aren’t comfortable being honest with them
  • They interrupt you
  • You feel like they aren’t listening
  • You don’t get information back in a timely way
  • There’s no eye contact during appointments
  • You feel rushed or like they’re trying to hurry you along
  • The provider doesn’t let you ask questions during appointments

Another communication red flag occurs when a doctor only seems to want to talk about themselves. This isn’t good from a health care provider—they’re there to talk about you.

Your Doctor Seems to JumpInto Prescribing Drugs

Yes, there are a lot of situations where you need to be prescribed medication, but this isn’t always the right or only answer. Your doctor, when prescribing you anything new, should go into detail about what it is, the potential side effects, and why they think it’s going to be beneficial to you.

They should be able to clearly convey why it’ll be an essential part of your overall treatment plan.

Too often, patients will leave an appointment holding a hastily scribbled prescription, with no idea what it is or why they need it.

The Provider Seems Outdated

A lot of doctors are engaged in staying updated on all the new advancements in medicine and health care, but there are times where you’ll also run into providers who aren’t. They may be stuck in an old, outdated way of doing things. If your doctor doesn’t seem to be making an effort to keep up with a rapidly evolving field, they’re probably not the right person for you.

You could be missing out on potentially beneficial treatments because of their inability to want to change.

The Doctor Seems Overworked

Overworked physicians are a big problem right now. If you’re waiting for a long time for appointments, or your doctor seems overwhelmed every time you see them, they’re not going to be able to give you the attention you need and deserve.

It can also end up being the case that when your doctor is too busy, they’re not respecting your time, even if it’s not on purpose. For example, when the waiting room is packed, you may find yourself sitting for hours before your appointment.

There’s Too Much Aggression In Treatment Approaches

A good doctor is going to be methodical in their treatments and nuanced. They’re going to weigh the pros and cons before suggesting anything carefully. There can be doctors who are too conservative in their approach certainly, but also doctors get too aggressive.

If you have neck pain, for example, and your doctor immediately recommends surgery, that might be too aggressive and indicate you should get a second opinion, if not a new doctor altogether.

As long as it’s not an acute or emergency, you want someone who’s going to assess your condition or symptoms over time and start slow with treatments.

You Feel Like You’re Getting Bullied

Your doctor’s goal should be to educate you, provide background information on treatments, and explain why they recommend a particular approach. If your doctor isn’t doing these things instead of bullying or pressuring you to take a certain medication or get a particular treatment, this is a red flag.

Your doctor should always have different options they talk about with you.

According to statistics, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. don’t get a second opinion, and many never understand their diagnosis.

Finding a new doctor is a significant and often overwhelming decision, but it can make a huge difference in your health care and well-being.