Can I change doctors, even late in the game, if I'm not happy with mine?
July 12th, 2020
Yes, you can. This is not just around end of life; this is about the entirety of the healthcare system, sector and profession. For some reason, we've allowed ourselves to believe that the interests of the providers, physicians, the health insurers, payers, the product manufacturers like pharma and device manufacturers, are equal to the interest of the patient or individual or consumer. And that strikes me as patently absurd.
There's a perception of a balanced interest paradigm that the best solutions in healthcare are those that balance the interests of the patient and the provider. But healthcare is about individuals. It's a retail market. People will act like there's gray to it, but this is black and white. If you're not happy with them, they serve at your pleasure. To the extent that they are not providing you pleasure, they should stop their service. To the extent the system is set up that it makes that difficult, that is a problem of the system, not the fault of the individual.
July 14th, 2020
Absolutely. The doctor patient relationship is extremely important. You need to feel completely comfortable with your provider, to know they respect your wishes and you have to be able to speak freely with them. Sometimes people just are not a good fit. We, the nursing staff here, actually get this question a lot. We can help find a good fit.
I usually delve deeper to find out if there's a particular thing they're not happy with and try to address it. If it's really not a good fit, I encourage the patient to have a conversation with the physician so they can learn. But it is very important for a patient to know that is always an option, not being bound to a care provider that is not a good fit.
July 15th, 2020
If we're talking about wanting to change because the physician is not giving you what you need in way of things like talking to you about your prognosis, I would love to say go ahead and change practices because you're going to find that the larger percentage of them do speak more open and directly. But that's sadly not necessarily the case. You can change physicians and find yourself in the same place over and over again.