When is it time to find a new doctor to treat your fibromyalgia?

This is something that we have all come across at one point or the other. In particular because finding a doctor that treats and understands fibromyalgia is a difficult task and takes a lot of work on the patient’s part. Having to do it a second time – well you get the picture. Therefore, the decision to find a new doctor is a pretty difficult place to find yourself in. This is because the relationship you have with your doctor is a personal one and there are many factors that limit us in our search including insurance companies and geography. Further, some patients find themselves a bit intimidated by their doctor, don’t think they have the right to switch, or worry they may offend the doctor.

What most patients don’t realize is that the doctor is providing a service and that means the doctor works for you. As a patient, if the service is not meeting your needs, then you have a right to switch doctors. When you have a chronic condition, you will be seeing the doctor regularly so this means that your relationship with your doctor is central to your health and wellbeing. If you are seeing the wrong doctor, your health and wellbeing is at risk.

How do you know when it’s time for a new doctor? Some main reasons that people change doctors include:

• The doctor not returning calls.

• Refills not filled on time.

• The doctor discourages the patient from finding out about their condition including dismissing the use of the internet for health information.

• The doctor dismisses patient’s questions and concerns.

• The doctor is arrogant and rude to the patient by making them wait longer than they should, by cutting the patient off when they ask questions or try to make a point, or tells the patient he or she does not know the answer to the question they asked about their condition.

• The patient does not see the doctor as their partner in wellness.

As patients, we want our doctors to quickly diagnose us and cure us. However, that is not always possible but we are entitled to the doctor’s best effort to help minimize symptoms, to make us feel comfortable, and to optimize our health as best as he or she can. Your doctor’s role is to help you to explore your condition, get you the best possible diagnosis, explore treatment options, update treatments as necessary and have a working partnership with you. Because your doctor is your partner, that person should treat you with courtesy and respect, listen to you and allow you to be part of the decision making process.


One Comment Add yours

  1. My heart goes out to you. Been there, done that and need to do it again. I have bee putting off switching doctors for my ra for over 1.5 years. I just dread it and my selection of other doctors is sooo limited in my new hometown. I just hate having to go through this process but once again. I wish you luck and look forward to reading how you do. Good luck, stay strong and may you find a perfect match!

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