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When is It Time to Fire My Doctor?

Doctor Holding Up His HandAt Heiting & Irwin Attorneys At Law, we speak with many medical malpractice victims on an annual basis. We often find that they are frustrated and emotionally hurt by the lack of professionalism exhibited by the doctors or medical professionals who caused their injury.

The importance of the relationship between you and your doctor should not be undervalued in any way. If your instincts are telling you the fit just isn’t right, find someone with whom you’re more compatible. While it is easy to trust a doctor, following your gut in these instances could save you from injury or health issues down the road.

I recently found a helpful article from Consumer Reports. The piece outlines five signs they say you should look for which indicate it’s time for a change.

  • Poor bedside manner. If your doctor is rude, insensitive, condescending, or sarcastic, it may be time for a change. Everyone has a bad day once in awhile, but if you notice a consistent pattern of bad attitudes, it isn’t likely to get better. While you may be able to “put up with it,” disrespectful treatment from your physician may make you hesitant to freely voice your questions and concerns about your health or treatments.
  • Difficult to schedule an appointment. While you can’t always expect immediate results or answers, there are reasonable timeframes that you should expect to be met. If you can never seem to schedule an appointment as needed, it may be time to seek a doctor that is more available.
  • Unreturned phone calls. Similar to scheduling difficulties, unavailability or unresponsiveness via phone is equally as frustrating. If you have questions about your health or medical condition, you need someone who will answer, and call back within a reasonable time.
  • Waiting room woes. Sometimes doctors’ offices get backed-up. Emergencies arise, an earlier-scheduled patients required longer-than expected attention, etc. If every time you visit your doctor’s office, however, you spend hours in the waiting room—even with an appointment—it may be that the doctor just doesn’t respect you and your time sufficiently.
  • Rude office staff. The office staff members working at your physician’s office play a key role in your overall healthcare experience. They often act as the middleman when dealing with scheduling, paperwork, billing, and patient-relations. If they do not treat you with respect, it may be time to find an office that does. Such attitudes many times mask other problems in the office that could affect your healthcare.

As I stated before, your instincts will often tell you if it’s time to move on to a different physician. While it may be uncomfortable to move the long-term benefits of protecting your health are more important. Having someone you trust who will communicate and answer your health questions will be more likely to avoid and prevent medical malpractice concerning their patients.

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