5 Signs It May Be Time to Change Your GI Doctor

Editor

There’s no harm in getting a second opinion. But what if you want to switch doctors completely? As any inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient knows, you must be your biggest advocate. Changing doctors, especially a specialist like a gastroenterologist, should not be taken lightly. Your relationship with your doctor is crucial for managing your condition and improving your overall quality of life. If you’ve been disappointed with your doctor, here are signs that may indicate it’s time to move on to someone else.

Your questions go unanswered

If you don’t ask, you may never know. Asking your doctor questions is perfectly acceptable, and should be encouraged. This is your body we’re taking about, so you should be educated about it. Your doctor should be the primary source to get more information about your condition. If your doctor beats around the bush or constantly says he or she will follow up with you later and never does, it may be time to find someone who will.

You can never reach them

Sometimes you need to reach your doctor outside of scheduled appointments. You may need to talk about side effects you’re having or flare-up symptoms. Because of this, many doctors will give their direct email or phone number to their patients—instead of making them go through the receptionist. If your calls and emails to your doctor or doctor’s office go unanswered, that is a red flag.

You’re rushed out the door

Doctors’ schedules are often packed. But you’ve waited your turn and invested your personal time for this appointment. You deserve the proper time and attention. Some doctors quickly skim a chart, utter a few sentences, and walk out. Getting the best care means having someone who will invest in you. You owe it to yourself to have a doctor who is willing to sit down, talk things out, and examine you thoroughly.

Your concerns are brushed aside

Does your doctor take your worries seriously? He should. Your concerns should be addressed and not passed over.  A good doctor will listen to what you say and take your thoughts into consideration before prescribing treatments.

You feel dejected after an appointment

Some doctors (whether they mean to or not) can patronize, insult or belittle their patients. People feel they are often treated only as a patient and not as a person. If you walk away from your appointments feeling frustrated, angry or depressed, you should think twice about staying with your current doctor.  You want someone who makes you feel positive and at ease.