Looking for signs it’s time to change doctors? If you’re worried you might not be getting the quality of care you deserve, it probably is a good idea to explore your options. However, switching up naturally means having to research physicians, obtain copies of your records, and develop a relationship with a whole new group of people, which can seem challenging—especially if you’re treating a chronic condition or need routine care. If you’re on the fence, use these five signs it’s time to change doctors to help decide if it’s really time to cut ties or if you might be able to work things out.
1) The Staff isn’t Helpful and Friendly
Oftentimes, the receptionist and assistants are seen as gatekeepers to the physician. In order to get through to the physician, whether you need an appointment, have a question, or require a prescription refill, it’s the staff who can make or break the experience. If they aren’t receptive to your needs, fail to forward information to the physician, or don’t treat you with respect, they can derail the quality of your care. This is seen more often in traditional practices than concierge medicine practices, as concierge physicians usually give their patients direct access and their staff members have a different mentality. If you experience unhelpful staff members in any type of practice, however, you should mention it to the physician. If he doesn’t take action and the situation doesn’t improve right away, consider it a red flag.
2) You Have to Wait a Lot
Some practices make you wait an extended period of time for an appointment and have lengthy in-office waits. This is generally because traditional practices have thousands of patients—way too many for a single practitioner to manage and still provide quality care. If you’re experiencing this on a regular basis, there’s little that can be changed by the physician unless he moves to an alternate model, like concierge care.
3) You Feel Rushed or Unheard
It’s common for practitioners to spend just 7-8 minutes in face-to-face contact with each patient; another side-effect of seeing too many patients overall. What’s more, this time crunch can make the physician miss things, particularly if he has his nose in the computer or is tapping away at the keyboard while you talk about your symptoms. If you feel like your concerns aren’t being addressed, that you’re part of an assembly line, or that the physician flat-out isn’t listening, it’s one of the major signs it’s time to change doctors.
4) Your Physician Balks at a Second Opinion
Few of us like having our expertise called into question, no matter what our specialties are. However, when we’re confident in what we do, we don’t mind having someone confirm what we’re saying or double-checking there are no alternate solutions we’ve missed. Some professionals go a step further and collaborate with others in their field of expertise. Physicians are the same. If your care provider gives you a hard time about getting a second opinion or makes the cost of obtaining copies of your records so high that it creates a barrier, it’s another red flag. Self-assured physicians want you well and are glad to speak with their peers to make sure you’re getting the best care possible.
5) You Feel Lost in Your Care
A number of things can make you feel “lost” when it comes to your care. Maybe your physician isn’t doing a good job of explaining your condition or treatment. Perhaps the office isn’t coordinating your care well, so you’re left to try to explain to specialists what’s happening and why you need to be seen. These kinds of things can often be resolved by asking questions or asking for extra help, but if you can’t reach the physician with ease or the office staff isn’t being helpful with coordination, it’s easy to feel lost or isolated. Worse yet, patients who find themselves in these situations don’t always follow up with their treatment or specialist visits, so their health deteriorates. If you find yourself feeling lost for any reason and your physician and his staff aren’t working to correct it, it’s one of the biggest signs it’s time to change doctors.
Do These Signs it’s Time to Change Doctors Apply to You? Visit Dedication Health
At Dedication Health, we provide something we call patient-focused care. From the moment you first speak with our practice manager Christine, you’ll know you’re our priority. We’ll get you in to see your physician quickly, oversee all your care—including specialist care and medications—and work with you as a team to ensure your total health and wellness is seen to. Contact us online or call 847-986-6770 to become a member or learn more about our practice.
Read “Concierge Medicine Near Me: Why Quality Care is Hard to Find” to learn more about Concierge Medicine.