Firing Your Doctor

Growing up, my mother always told me, it was my job to go to school and my teachers’ job to teach me; therefore, if I didn’t understand something, it was the teacher’s job to explain it until I did understand. This is something that has stuck with me throughout my life. I have kept it in mind anytime I trained for a new position or trained another individual for a new position. But as I looked at other elements of my life, I learned it can and should be applied to other areas as well, especially if I am paying somebody for a service. Living a life with chronic health conditions, I expect my doctors to provide the medical care that I am paying them to provide. If I feel that they are lacking on providing this care at the level I believe they should be, I fire them!

“C” students become doctors too

It may sound harsh, but not all doctors are created equal, by any means. Some doctors are more detailed when examining your medical history and monitoring your progress than others, while some are better about sympathizing with what you as their patient are going through. Throughout my years of trying different doctors, I have definitely learned that there are some who could really give you a bad taste for that specific profession if you let them. The best sarcastic but very true comment I was ever told was that those “C” medical students still became doctors. This was in no means intended to pass judgement on all doctors. The statement simply pointed out that not all doctors are created equally. It is no different than any other profession.

Yes, I will fire a doctor

If you feel like a doctor is not giving you the best care possible, find a new doctor. Throughout my care, we have found several specialists who had their one ‘magical’ treatment or procedure that they believed in for their chronic migraine patients. We have tried these treatments but after an extended period of time with no relief, we would ask about what treatment is next since this is not working. The answer seems to always be the same at this point, they act as though you told them Thanksgiving dinner was awful and suggest you see a pain management specialist. So we gather my records from the office and try a different doctor who has another idea on what kind of treatment that we have not tried that may help with my case.

How does firing your doctor help?

One thing you will hear from many advocates in the migraine community is that everybody’s response to a medication or a treatment or a procedure is different. With this in mind, it is logical to understand that not every doctor will have the same approach to treating chronic migraine. There are numerous possible protocols available. If your doctor is unwilling to move on from a treatment plan that is simply not working for you or not improving your condition, you need to move on to another doctor who is willing to try something else to help you. This is another area where some of the support groups can be helpful. One of my best physicians came from a referral in a Facebook support group. There are also review websites where patients who have seen a doctor leave a review of their experience with that physician and their office. I honestly do Google search of a new doctor before making an appointment with them. If nothing else, it provides me with an idea of what to expect with this particular doctor. You have to remember, it is your health and you have to be willing to fight for the best care that you can find.

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