Here are some general examples of why you need to pursue your concerns with your doctor until you get the right treatment. These are experiences of myself or someone I know and can be quite common. Some people just don’t know they ever were given the wrong treatment.
When my husband John had throat cancer we had some unusual experiences with doctors that you can read about here
- A woman went to the doctor for a year complaining of pain in her abdomen. The doctor said she was fine. She eventually went to the ER and was told she had five hernias that were already reported in her health records. The doctor neglected to read her previous x-ray report. Maybe it was lost, misfiled, never sent who knows.
- A man is recommended surgery that was scheduled when there were alternative treatments available without the risk. The man avoided disfigurement from scarring and the risk of loss of the ability to raise his arm by checking with another doctor
- A 5-year-old boy had a swollen lymph node in front of his ear that was hard. His parents were told that surgery was the only way to do a biopsy and that it could leave the boy with nerve damage causing his face to fall on one side. The family doctor would not give the parents a request for a 2nd opinion that the insurance company required making it hard to schedule with any other specialist. Luckily the family dentist knew someone that would see the boy the next day. He was treated with stronger antibiotics and the lymph node started to shrink and continued until it was almost completely gone. The Mother called the surgeon to cancel the surgery since the new doctor said cancer just doesn’t shrink from antibiotics, and it must have been an infection. The surgeon still wanted to cut the boys face “to be sure”. Mom said no, and the lump went away entirely.
Going to see a doctor isn’t what it used to be. Doctors are working with hundreds if not thousands of new billing codes. The cost of malpractice insurance is through the roof. So doctors are working faster just to keep up with all of the new demands of ObamaCare.
I believe that most want the best for their patients but with these requirements and extra costs, their job is now more frustrating and stressful. The big change is that we are in charge of our health more now than ever. It is up to us to make sure the doctor knows all about our symptoms, medicines we take, and every concern.
Some doctors don’t read your medical records before they see you, and you might have to remind them of anything that you think they need to consider. You deserve a copy of every record and report on your health. All you have to do is tell them you would like a copy. GONE are the days when you can see a doctor and let him have control of your health decisions no questions asked.
- Check his credentials. Search the internet for a physician in your area and one who participates with your insurance. The website will give you the information you need. Just type in doctor specialties and search. Check out his credentials. Look at the comments and whether he was ever disciplined. Is he board certified in his area of medicine? A doctor may list his specialty but if he isn’t board certified he doesn’t have the specific training in this field. A family physician can do surgery and other procedures legally, but does he know how to do everything well. A specialist usually has intensive training and knowledge in a particular area. A surgeon who does general surgery may be ok for small procedures, but I wouldn’t let him do anything else, to be honest.
- Get answers to all your concerns. Write down all your concerns. Example: what is the treatment, is there other treatments available? Which is best for me and why. What are the side effects of any medicine prescribed? Will the treatment affect my body in any negative way? What is my diagnosis? Unbelievably, some doctors may write down the name of your ailment but fail to mention it to you. Check your questions off as the physician answers your questions. If you feel like he isn’t answering your questions in a way that you can understand, tell him you’re not sure you understand. Sometimes you have to push the doctor into taking your concerns seriously. If you feel something isn’t right, try another doctor.
- Get a second opinion if you are uncomfortable with the physician. Maybe he didn’t answer your questions, or he acted annoyed with your questions. Sometimes you just get a bad feeling, or the doctor says something out of character or inappropriate that makes you question his judgment. If you need major surgery and you have doubts about your surgeon you should go somewhere else.
- Research the diagnosis on the internet if it is a major illness like cancer, lupus, etc. A hospital’s website is an excellent source for information about your diagnosis that you can trust. You may see something that could change your treatment in some way or make it easier and then you can request it from your physician. This is your body, and you have every right to know exactly what is happening to it.
- Make your educated decision. No one can guarantee the outcome of your illness. However, you can be the one to choose the route you take. No doctor’s perfect, but with your cooperation you can get the best treatment possible.