Should You Dump Your Doctor?
Problem: Your Doctor Has Poor Diagnostic SkillsThis isn’t necessarily grounds for dumping her. Unless, of course, you've heard that the same thing has happened to other patients or the doctor has missed something obvious. If the misdiagnosis wasn't serious, take note of how your doctor reacts after the accurate diagnosis is made, whether it comes after more tests or is another doctor's opinion. "When I make a mistake, I tell the patient and the family," says Oz. But if your doctor makes excuses, she may not be someone you want tending to your health.
Problem: Your Doctor Asks Personal QuestionsDoctors shouldn't meddle in your affairs. Many doctors will inquire about your personal life―upcoming vacations, your kids, your job―but they should avoid topics unrelated to your visit. "If a doctor makes a comment that you feel is too personal, simply say, 'I'd like to separate my social life from my health care,'" says Patricia Raymond, a gastroenterologist in Chesapeake, Virginia. You may have to decide whether the quality of care outweighs his tactlessness.
Problem: Your Doctor Is Narrow-Minded About Alternative TherapiesSome alternative therapies have proven health benefits, so a doctor who discredits them is probably not staying current. "Half of what a doctor learns in medical school is proven incorrect by the time his career has ended," says Oz. If you're happy with your doctor, ask if an alternative therapy will interfere with any conventional treatment you're receiving. If the doctor says it's fine, leave it at that. If you feel the doctor's lack of interest is a sign of a larger failure to stay medically up-to-date, then it may be time to move on.
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