Choosing a doctor is as important to me as choosing a boyfriend. Stay with me on this...
With a boyfriend, I look for someone who’s thoughtful, open-minded and understanding. Someone who can see through my “I’m fine” responses and get to the heart of the situation. My doctor, no matter the specialty, must do the same.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a say in which doctors we go to. There should be some sort of “dating” process when you first start going to see a doctor. While it may seem like a good fit at first—they listen, are knowledgeable and prompt in their response—when the little things start to add up do we struggle through the partnership or realize that maybe we’re making the best out of a failing relationship?
I’ve been going to see the same dentist and ophthalmologist since I was a child. I’ve changed doctors for most of the others. Sometimes the physician left the practice, other times I got fed up with the ridiculous admin rules or other standards put into place by their legal department. Treat me like an equal, like a person with an opinion, value and knowledge. I don’t want to be simply a number on your list of patients to see that day. I want to be heard, respected and valued.
I can tell from the second appointment whether or not this “relationship” is a good fit for me. But most times I stay because leaving causes all sorts of hassle. They charge you to copy your OWN records and you have to check with your insurance company to make sure the new doctor is in your network. And you have to start all over explaining your medical history to the new physician. Ugh...it makes me tired just thinking about it. And so I stay...in a relationship that may not be very healthy.
Here’s an idea—networking sessions for doctors and patients! What do you think? We all sit down, discuss what we’re looking for, rotate around the room and not make any promises at the end of the event. We get to know one another as not just patient/doctor but as neighbors, community members, like-minded individuals whose goals are the same: to get to the “heart” of the matter.
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