Brenda Della Casa had been seeing her primary care physician for two years
and had brushed off her concerns about getting rushed care - until she had a
health scare she couldn’t ignore. She told her doctor she was experiencing
terrible back pain and stomachaches. Her doctor checked her, said she was fine,
and sent her on her way.
Five days later, Della Casa, an author and dating coach in Chicago, was
traveling and had pains so severe she could barely move. When she received a
voicemail from her doctor saying she had “misread her results” and needed to be
treated immediately for a kidney infection, she was furious. “I decided then
and there I would never see her again,” Della Casa tells WebMD.
Patients often have trouble talking to their doctors. It can be hard to get the words out when the topic is emotionally charged or one you’d never bring up in polite conversation.
And for various reasons, sometimes including their own embarrassment, doctors may find it hard to bring up certain topics -- and that can compromise the care their patients receive.
“Communication is an inexact science,” says Bob Arnold, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and...
Breaking up with your doctor is not a choice most people take lightly, but
there may come a time when it's the single best decision for you and your
health. Some patients have had complaints that have been mounting over the
years. Others decide to fire their doctor after one heated episode - perhaps
because of a missed diagnosis like Della Casa, a disagreeable interaction, or a
health concern that was dismissed.
"Patients don’t want to break up with their doctor," says Gregory Makoul,
PhD, Chief Academic Officer at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in
Hartford, Conn. "They will often put up with a relationship that isn’t going
great for them."
But that may be a mistake.
"It’s critical to remember it’s a relationship," Makoul tells WebMD. "People
often think it’s a one-way relationship, but the doctor is invested, too. If
you think it’s a business transaction, you’re missing an important part of the
Wait, Can You Hear Me Now?
Ann Middleman, a marketing research consultant in Westbury, N.Y., had been
seeing the same ob-gyn for more than eight years. During a routine check-up,
she was surprised to learn she had gained 10 pounds. When she asked if her
thyroid should be checked, her question was dismissed. Instead, the doctor
responded, "You eat too much!"