Deciding if it’s time to find a new doctor can be difficult decision. After all, relationships take time, and this one happens to have a large impact on your health. Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia writer Lana Barhum shares five red flags to watch for, as you decide whether or not it’s time to find a new doctor.
HAVING AVOIDED PREVIOUS HEALTH ISSUES, I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT A “GOOD” RELATIONSHIP WITH MY DOCTOR WAS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE.
In late 2009, I sat in the waiting room of Dr. A., my rheumatologist at the time, dreading yet another visit. It was over a year earlier that she had diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia.
RA is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body, including to the joints and organs. It can be life threatening if not properly managed. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread muscle and tissue pain, tenderness, fatigue, along with other, often debilitating symptoms.
Prior to these health issues, my medical visits had been sporadic. So I didn’t know what a “good” relationship with my doctor was supposed to look like, at that time. But if you find yourself dreading every visit – like I did – it may be time to find a new doctor. Here are five red flags to watch for:
1. Your doctor doesn’t listen to you
Does your doctor interrupt you or appear to be distracted? Chances are, they may not listening to you. It takes two to communicate: if you often feel like your concerns aren’t being heard, you are probably right.
My first rheumatologist never addressed my concerns or answered my questions. When I endured side effects to prescribed medications and found no symptom relief, for instance, she refused to change my medicines. Moreover, at each visit, it seemed she was uninformed about my health history and why I was there.