As in so many areas of life, it is hard or often impossible to know ‘what you don’t know’ or to recognize what hidden issues or dangers are out there.
When you are dealing with doctors and medical issues, what you don’t know and the hidden dangers of staying with the wrong doctor, can be disastrous and even life threatening.
The effects of staying with ‘a wrong doctor’ can vary from mild frustration to long term effects on the quality of your healthcare.
Changing doctors isn’t easy or for the faint of heart
I get it. Finding, meeting and working with a new doctor is a lot of work and can be scary too.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the hidden dangers of staying with the wrong doctor.
Danger #1: Emotional or psychological effects
When a doctor is dismissive or assumes the issues are from anxiety or depression, it can have huge impact on you and your loved one’s emotional and mental health.
How many of us have been told that it is anxiety? Or if you make them go to school they’ll feel better?
What these dismissive doctors seem to forget is that we only come to them after doing everything we can to help with the issues at home. We know our kids, we know our bodies and when we make the effort to get help, it’s because there is a real issue.
Before you doubt yourself, remember that it is just ONE doctor’s opinion and that not every doctor is the right fit.
Danger #2: Delayed or lack of appropriate, effective care
So, your doctor is not dismissing your symptoms but perhaps not willing to look beyond the normal cause for your issues.
Maybe they hesitate to write a referral or they drag their feet when doing it.
Perhaps they don’t know about rare diseases or don’t ‘believe’ in your rare disease or think that it is ‘too rare’ for it to a be possibility.
What all of these situations have in common is that staying with ‘the wrong doctor’ results in delayed or lack of appropriate care for you or your loved one.
Don’t waste time and energy fighting with the wrong doctor. Instead focus on finding and working with the right doctor that can help you get the care you need.
Danger #3: Absence of support and unwillingness to advocate for your care.
My favorite primary care doctor was a family practice doctor who only worked part-time. She loved learning and researching about new things, was a phenomenal care coordinator and advocate, and believed the patient-doctor relationship was a true collaboration.
Office staff knew to schedule a double appointment for our regularly scheduled appointments. Many of the appointments were spent following up with specialists via phone or email together or working on paperwork and authorizations for insurance.
I knew we were working together as a team, that she had my back and that she would step in and advocate for me, when and where I needed her to.
When you are working with the wrong doctor, you are at high risk of NOT getting that support and NOT having a person within the system who is willing to advocate for you.
And in the extreme case, the wrong doctor can result in inaccurate statements or diagnoses in your medical records that affect future interactions with other doctors and your ability to get appropriate care.
Sadly, the wrong doctor may even result in issue with CPS and charges of medical child abuse. In these cases, having the right doctors who will stand up for you, support you and advocate for you can make all of the difference.
Finding the right doctor is important for your safety and for getting appropriate care. Think of how good it will feel to know that you doctor has your back, while you are ‘dating’ your new doctors to see if they are the right fit.
Wondering if your doctor is right for you? Don’t worry, I’ve created a checklist to help you figure that out, click here to download.
So, I encourage you to take a look at each of your doctors, figure out if they are the right one for you. If not, move on from the wrong doctor, protect yourself and avoid the hidden dangers.
Don’t forget to download the When To Break Up With Your Doctor Checklist to help you decide.