When to Fire Your Doctor
I’ve written about what to do when your doctor gives up on you and while I consider this to be unacceptable, it does happen. And you have to deal with it.
But sometimes, you need to give up on them.
Sometimes you need to fire your doctor.
Your Psychiatrist Works for You
Your doctor actually works for you. You sign his paychecks. You are paying a lot of money to spend time with him. He is an expensive consultant. That you can fire anytime you want. (Ask the consultants in a tech company. I know of one who was fired after two days.)
People forget this. People somehow think they owe the doctor their loyalty. You don’t. They owe you. They owe you their best clinical work; just like that tech consultant owes the company his very best code.
Making the Relationship Work
This is not to suggest you should throw a hissy-fit every time the doctor says something you don’t like. Doctors are going to say things you don’t like. It’s pretty much their job description.
I’m a big believer in trying to make the relationship work as switching doctors repeatedly will hurt your treatment in the end, so needlessly doctor hopping doesn’t help anyone. A doctor who has known you over a longer period understands your health, your situation, your priorities and can treat you more effectively.
How to Make the Relationship Work
I believe many patients don’t get what they want because they don’t articulate themselves clearly. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t all the patient’s fault. The doctor should be asking the right questions to make sure you get what you want. But in the absence of their attention to detail, you need to be very clear and upfront about what you’re looking for.
If you don’t tell your tech consultant what color the font is in the program, he’ll guess. And it’ll be wrong. (Techies are not known for the color-sense.)
Over and over again I hear from people that their doctor isn’t taking their complaints seriously. OK; I hear you. But have you stood in front of you doctor and said,
No? You haven’t said that? Well then how the heck is he supposed to help?
Most people won’t be that direct with their doctor because they’re scared. Which I completely understand. But that fear is keeping you from getting the best care possible. The fear is not worth that. Your care is more important.
When to Fire Your Doctor
Here are some reasons you might fire your doctor:
- He has no idea what to do with your treatment. Time for a referral to someone else.
- No matter how loudly you scream, he isn’t listening to you.
- He can’t or refuses to answer your questions to your satisfaction.
- He doesn’t respect your wishes or take your priorities seriously.
As I’ve said, I think it’s best to work with your doctor if possible, but it isn’t always. Sometimes you just have to hand out a pink slip.
And that’s OK. If your doctor is a professional and you handle it professionally, they should be able to refer you to someone with whom you may be able to work better. Perhaps:
I appreciate all you’ve done for me but I feel it would be better if I saw someone else. Who can you recommend?
Remember, you might change hairstylists if you walk out of the salon with bed head, you might change auto mechanics if the knocking and pinging comes back and you should consider changing doctors if you’re not getting what you need from that relationship.
Because your health is sure the heck more important than your hair. Or the font color.
Tracy, N. (2011, June 4). When to Fire Your Doctor, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/06/when-to-fire-your-doctor
Author: Natasha Tracy
The chemical ones are always temporary, and the pain is reduced with the right environment, and or medication - even if its a placebo. A spending spree is not an example of a placebo - though you will feel better until the bills come. If any of this sounds familiar then you are bi polar, but still a living human being who can still experience joy as well as share it.
My guardian angel holds my silver bullet for me. I don't expect her/him to hand it over any time during this lifetime. When I leave this earth I want it to be a surprise for everyone.
Thanks for writing this.
"I have had to fire some family and friends"
I know that's sad, but that quote is kind of great.
"I just try to be proactive and communicate what works and what does not."
And that's what we should all be, if we can. It's a challenge when you're sick, but it pays to think about it when you're not; it encourages you when you are.
You are welcome :)
Thanks again for another terrific writing Natasha.