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Breaking Up With Your Doctor

Is your doctor-patient relationship on the rocks? Find out if it's time to move on.

Partnering With Your Doctor continued...

Blackall points out that there is emerging research showing that patients with a chronic disease like diabetes who work collaboratively with their physicians may actually do better medically.

"Let's face it, the stakes are high," Blackall says. "People come in and they're sick and they're suffering. It's very emotional stuff. When patients become upset with their doctor, a common reason is that they're frightened. They're scared they're getting worse and the doctor's not going to be able to help them."

"Know yourself," Blackall says. "Everyone has different styles when it comes to coping with illness. Be clear with your doctors about what you need from them."


Signs of a Bad Doctor-Patient Relationship

If you've been routinely unhappy with your interactions with your doctor, it's time to re-evaluate the relationship. Here are four signs that you may need to move on:

  • You can't get an appointment when you need to see your doctor.
  • You can't trust or be honest with your doctor.
  • Your doctor ignores your questions or dismisses your complaints.
  • Your doctor fails to explain your condition, treatment, or options for care.

If you do decide to leave your doctor, it's important to make sure your personal medical records, including physician notes, test results, and other relevant medical information are transferred to your new doctor.

Most doctors’ offices have a release form you can use to request your records. Once you fill out all the proper paperwork, you can usually have the records sent directly to your new doctor, but there may be a fee involved.

Reviewed on January 04, 2010

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