If a mechanic were to put a bunch of fluids and parts in your car that it doesn’t need, and could even be harmful, would you keep seeing that mechanic or would you look for a new one? If you like your car and want it to last, chances are you will look for a new one who understands your car and takes care of its needs accordingly. Now comes the serious question: Why would you take care of your car by changing mechanics, but NOT take care of your health by doing the same with doctors? I think some of this comes from a societal norm where we put doctors on a pedestal and assume that if they are a doctor, “By George, they must know what they are doing!”. And while it’s certainly true that they have been to medical school and maybe you haven’t, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an opinion about the type of treatment you are receiving! Staying with a particular doctor just because you feel like you have to isn’t helping your health, in fact, it can actually be hurting it.
I want to be clear from the start, none of this is meant to be doctor bashing. I have had wonderful experiences with many doctors. With that said, I have also had my fair share of doctors that just don’t seem to hear my concerns or, worse, don’t even want to hear them. So, what is this article about? Empowering you to find a doctor that gets you, hears your concerns, and doesn’t just aim to treat symptoms but takes a proactive approach to your overall health and vitality.
Red Flags That It May Be Time to Find a New Doctor:
- You simply don’t click with the person.
- This might sound silly, but if you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor it can be hard to share important details around your health issues or even go to the doctor for that matter. Find someone who you like and genuinely cares about your health.
- You often leave your doctor’s office feeling discouraged and confused about your treatment plan.
- Your doctor seems to brush off your concerns and ideas.
- If you start feeling bad or stupid about asking questions, there is a big problem. Doctors should listen to and respect your ideas about how you want to approach your health even if they don’t agree. That’s not to say that they can’t disagree with you, but they should always be willing to hear you out and provide you with second opinions and or referrals as needed.
- Your doctor is resistant to you seeking a second opinion or acts defensive when ask about discussing/exploring other treatment options.
- You feel rushed at most appointments.
- The solution to every health problem you bring up almost always includes a pill and little to no talk about lifestyle changes.
- Ask around.
- One of the best ways to find great doctors is to find someone who loves their doctor and shares a similar health philosophy with you.
- Get a list of health care providers under your coverage and in your area.
- You can typically find this information on your insurance providers website or if it is easier, call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask them to send you a provider list.
- Think outside the box and consider integrative medicine.
- Depending on what your health needs are and your financial situation (many health care providers will work with you if this is an issue) this approach might be just what you are looking for. Integrative medicine, “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.” as described by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
- Spend some time researching doctor reviews online.
- Once you find your match call, set up an appointment to get started, and give yourself a huge hug for honoring your health and wellbeing!
To being an advocate for your health so you can be and feel your BEST! Chris