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Changing doctors...awkward!

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sad12008 posted 5/2/2013 11:01 AM

SI members are often very good at coming up with the right thing to say...so I'm hoping for help. I'm going to change my DD's specialist doctor to a different one at the end of the month. Basically the reason boils down to my feeling there may be something more going on; there's been no improvement and possibly a worsening in the two years she's seen him (however, I changed TO him originally because of no improvement with the 1st doctor); and the fact I prefer how this latest doctor works with the parents and the child as a treatment team (my son has seen him for >two years).

I'm having break-up angst, though, and am already cringing in anticipation of awkward encounters, as I know I will see him again. In fact, probably a couple times a month, as he works in the same very small building as my IC and they have a shared waiting area.

Obviously, my DD's well-being is my primary concern, but I am feeling a little stress about the questioning looks I anticipate seeing. As if I don't already have enough stress and worry in my life ....

Help?

Dreamboat posted 5/2/2013 11:55 AM

I rarely tell a Dr when I "break up" with them, bu then I rarely have to see them again. The only time I do is if there is an issue that I feel the Dr should address, such as a rude or unprofessional front office worker or nurse.

Saying that, I have family members that have had to continue seeing a Dr in their medium sized town after seeking treatment from a large university hospital 1.5 hours away, against the wishes of the hometown Dr. In each of those cases, the hometown Dr may have been a little irritated at first, but in the long term was very professional.

So just be calm and professional. Explain that you want to try something different with DD. I am sure the Dr has heard that type of thing before.

Good luck!

[This message edited by Dreamboat at 11:56 AM, May 2nd (Thursday)]

circe posted 5/2/2013 12:25 PM

If the doc is an otherwise good doctor, but is just not helping your DD in exactly the right way, then why not give him the benefit of the doubt and be straight with him. Assume that he really wants to see your DD healthy and will work with you to find a way to approach that, even if it means passing her off to another specialist.

How about: I feel like DD might have something else going on than what we've been looking at. Can we talk about another approach to her condition? Is there another specialist you can recommend that could help us approach this from another angle? I'm getting concerned about (continuing symptoms) - what do you recommend?

You know, be a team with him to help your daughter. If he tries to keep you on the same path that's not working, you can have the awkward break up, but until them why not see if you can get him to help you to find a better solution?

kernel posted 5/2/2013 13:36 PM

I think it's okay to be straightforward and just say you've decided to work with another doctor. You don't have to give reasons or do anything to soothe his feelings. He should be professional about it - I'm sure it happens all the time.

tushnurse posted 5/2/2013 13:55 PM

I soooo wish people didn't get so worked up over this.

You pay your Dr's to perform services for you, just like paying the mechanic to fix your car. If you take your car to Joe's fix it, with a issue, and Joe says I can try, but not make any guarantees, but it will cost you. You give it a whirl. If Joe doesn't get it fixed, do you back to Joe and say can you try doing the same thing you did before even though it didn't work?

I would hope not.

For the same reason you should not continue to see a Dr just because you have seen him before, esp if he has not been effective in treating the issue you are seeing him for.

A Good Dr will always welcome someone else a shot at fixing a problem they cannot solve. A BAD or inCompetent Dr may react poorly. If they do, the just know that you are making the right choice.

Many many many Drs esp Specialists are very very busy, and overworked already, and losing one patient for whatever reason will not make a hill of beans difference to them.
He will know that you are switching when you sign a ROI anyway.

The cool thing to do, is send him a card, saying thank you for all you have done, we still seem to be struggling with making progress in treating X, therefore we are going to try a different approach. Please know that I will come back to you if we are unsuccessful with this new approach.

The MD will respect you, and you will not have burned any bridges.

Good Luck.

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 5/2/2013 16:26 PM

What tush said. Most Dr's realize the provide a service and they're not the right Dr for everyone. Send him a TY card and don't worry about his reaction, after all it's on him as to how he acts.

purplejacket4 posted 5/2/2013 23:13 PM

Yeah, I agree with the others. You need to do what's best for your daughter. I don't mind at all when a patient of mine sees someone else. However, if another doctor doesn't help the situation you may need either another kind of specialist or a referral to a big medical center (like Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, etc.)

sad12008 posted 5/3/2013 22:29 PM

Thanks, everyone!! I feel better armed now; I like the idea of a thank-you note a lot. I really appreciate the help & support!

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