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When to Break up with Your Doctor
Posted: 11/24/2015 10:36 AM by
Everyone says that Healthcare is reforming. Being an aging senior with chronic conditions, you might spend fair amount of time in the doctor’s office or in contact with her staff.
We don't work at a job anymore, but seem to be employed full time keeping track of health related appointments and health care providers!
We used to go to the doctor’s office for regularly scheduled appointments. We would sign in and wait 5 or 10 minutes in the waiting room to be called back by the nurse. She ask how we are feeling, note any problems then record weight, Temperature, pulse, respirations and Blood pressure. She might look you in the eyes and ask about your garden and your grandchildren then lead you to an exam room (usually freezing cold) where she’d ask you to remove clothing and put on a split paper gown, then sit on a high, uncomfortable table to await the doctor’s arrival.
The doc would show up in 15-20 minutes. Just about the time it got really uncomfortable. She would rush in with the record and stand in the open door reading what the nurse had written less than 30 minutes before while you clutched the edges of the gown together helplessly hoping no one passing in the hall would look your way.
Having finished her record review the doc would ask, "What brings you here today?" Like she'd never seen us before, like she had no idea she'd been our doctor for almost 3 years. As if she hadn’t told us on our last visit to make this appointment.
If your doctor is always rushed and hurries through your visit, or doesn’t recognize you after 3 years, it might be time to break up.
I know that doctors are busier than ever these days. Managed care has required them to do more with less. Many are overscheduled every day.
The business of healthcare is changing, and doctors must react and alter their practices according to new requirements and reimbursement.
Despite these new pressures, it is not uncommon for people to expect the doctor to fix them. That is, some folks place responsibility for their health on the doctor.
Historically, The United States has provided the finest medical care in the world. We are the best when it comes to treating trauma, surgical conditions and acute care. US medical care is challenged when it comes to treating chronic, ongoing conditions. Part of the reason this kind of care is so challenging is the “doctor will fix it” kind of thinking.
You are responsible for your health. Your everyday choices regarding smoking, diet, exercise and stress management affect your health today and in the future.
If you have a chronic condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, your compliance with prescribed regimens and self care can make the difference between suffering long term consequences and managing well into old age. A partnership between you and your doctor is best.
Be prepared when you go to the doctor. Keep a list of your current medications. Write down questions you may have for the doctor or new symptoms that concern you.
When you are asked to fill out paperwork for a new doctor, ask if you can get the forms before the day of the visit, so you can take your time with them and make sure the information you provide is accurate and complete.
If your doctor doesn’t look you in the eyes and is too busy for your questions, it might be time to break up. Find a new doctor who will explain all prescriptions and medical interventions prior to ordering them, and who will include YOU in your medical care plan.
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