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10 Signs It’s Time to Find a New Doctor

by Karen Lee Richards

Are you less than satisfied with your doctor but uncertain as to whether you should look for another?  Because the doctor-patient relationship is a very personal one, the decision as to whether or not to switch doctors can be a difficult one to make, especially if you have been seeing the same doctor for several years.

So how do you know when the time is right?  Here are 10 signs that it may be time to find a new doctor:

1.  Your doctor doesn’t listen to you.

Does your doctor routinely interrupt you after one or two sentences?  Do you find your doctor attending to other matters while you are trying to explain your symptoms?  Does your doctor repeatedly ask you questions you’ve already answered?

2.  Your doctor doesn’t believe you’re really sick.

Do you find your doctor frequently attributing your symptoms to age, stress or hormones?  If you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, does your doctor dismiss it as either non-existent or a “wastebasket diagnosis”?  Does your doctor imply that most of your problems are psychosomatic?

3.  Your doctor dismisses all alternative treatments as quackery.

Are you hesitant to tell your doctor about supplements you’ve been taking for fear of the lecture you’ll receive?    Does your doctor make you feel foolish if you inquire about an alternative treatment like acupuncture or massage therapy?

4.  Your doctor refuses to look at ANY information you find on the Internet.

Does your doctor reject anything found on the Internet regardless of the source?  Is your doctor unaware of the fact that there is a great deal of quality, respected medical information available on the Internet (for example, most major medical journals, National Library of Medicine), or is anything found on the Internet dismissed without further investigation? 

5.  Your doctor is unwilling to consider your ideas.

If you ask to have a lab test run or request a new medication, does your doctor usually refuse without explaining why?  When you express concern about something, such as a symptom or medication side-effect, does your doctor tell you not to worry about it without addressing your concerns?  If you say you think you might have a particular disease or condition, does your doctor say, “No, you don’t have that” without telling you why that’s not a possibility?

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