• Being heard by the medical community

    Asked by kashubian on Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Being heard by the medical community

    I have a general question for the community here at large. When a medical professional is not actually hearing you during an office visit? How do you handle the situation as it degrades when they don't address your concerns and their lack of respect becomes obvious?

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • glam's Avatar

      First of all I would change to another doctor....second I would let the facility know the reasons why I am changing to another doctor.....fighting cancer is a fighting for our life....there is no room for anything different than a great partnership among doctors, nurses, patients and family members, all together committed with the same objective....KICK CANCER OUT of your life......do not delegate decisions for your life and/or accept less than the best for you......God continue blessing all of us

      over 7 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Personally? I become stonily quiet and passive aggressive. Uhm - that's not effective... but it's definitely what I do whenever I encounter someone like you describe - whether in the medical community or otherwise.

      I had only one experience like that. It was the head nurse for the clinical trial I was enrolled in. I had tried telling her over and over a few things, and she just didn't listen to me and continued with her "programmed" agenda. I just stopped talking - even my better half was shocked by how stonily quiet I became. What was effective? Well, I asked all of my questions etc.. of the head doc for the clinical trial and then based my decision to enroll on his information... Happily, right after my initial meeting with her, she retired and the new nurse was awesome. I interacted with her every week, so I was very relieved that she turned out to be a total sweetie pie and totally competent!

      So... this makes me wonder - what's going on? I hope you are able to navigate your situation and get your needs met and your concerns addressed.

      Good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Here is a blog post we posted about this subject on our Blog a few months ago, maybe there is some information here that will help you.

      I have had that problem with one doctor in the past to the point of I got up and stood in front of the door and asked my questions until I was happy with the answers, he finally seen I was serious about getting the answers NOW and not later, when he did, he started answering like it was important all of a sudden. Then asked me if I had any further questions, NO I don't , thank you!

      If you have to make it known you need info. They work for you, not you for them.

      over 7 years ago
    • CrazyHarry's Avatar

      Maybe a sharp slap to the face?

      over 7 years ago
    • HOBO's Avatar

      Aha, I am a tough cookie. But my medical onc and I did not communicate effectively and I called him on it. I ask lots of questions. It is my right. He did not like that. The last time he called me, he said, "I do not have time to educate you to become either a gynocologist or an oncologist." I replied that I Did not expect that but I did expect him to successfully communicate with me. I thanked him for calling me, but said for today we are done and i hung up. Needless to say, we were not good together. I am a consumer. Doctors are not gods. We pay for their service. O called members services, recalled the conversation and asked for other.options. luckily, for me, he was leaving my provider in two weeks. He had only been there less than a year. He was Yale trained, but needed people skills and communications skills to be effectively. I now find I was not alone in my feelings. I am waiting for a new medical onc. I have a fabulous gyn/onc that is always available. I encourage everyone to be polite but speak up for yourself. We are consumers. We pay a lot of money for healthcare. You should receive the best service available.

      over 7 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      Well, I'm tall and have an aggressive aura, so I only had to emphasize once that I expected more than I was getting. I also told patient services that I was displeased with the level of care I was receiving. As someone else has noted in this thread, its your life. Fight for it and don't let them push you around. Changing doctors is one option, but if you can get through to this one who already knows your case, it might be worth the fight.

      over 7 years ago
    • nicki0920's Avatar

      I'm on my 3rd oncologist. If you don't feel like a priority to your doctor, fire him. They may be doctors but they are not all knowing.

      Finding a doctor that had previously and successfully treated my type of cancer was a challenge to say the least. I'm very glad that I fired the first two. I feel like we are finally on the right track to remission.

      Notifying the administrator of the cancer center is also a very good idea. I doubt you are the only patient that is having their opinions and questions ignored. You may be the only one brave enough to confront the problem though, If the administrator is ignorant of the problem, they cannot address it with the doctor.

      over 7 years ago
    • MMarie's Avatar

      Do you go where you go and see who you see because of insurance and/or location?

      over 7 years ago
    • Bb31565's Avatar

      To find a doctor ( before cancer) I interviewed several doctors. Needless to say one doc was truly impressed and was awesome...he got the job and to this day I think the world of him. Yes they work with you to help you. I love my oncologist....he always calls us a team. I also saw the director of the cancer institute because of the BRCA positive results. I love him too and the fact that I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of him hearing of an unhappy or dissatisfied patient. I have seen him with patients ( me) and have heard of the repercussions of not giving the best to the patients.....grateful I don't have to answer to him for that.

      over 7 years ago
    • BabsWon's Avatar

      I haven't had that problem. But if I did, I would "get in their face" until they paid attention to me and addressed my concerns. Sometimes my oncologist is reading test results on the computer screen. I usually don't interrupt him so as not to distract him. I don't want him to miss anything important. Once he has interpreted the information, I feel free to ask questions. I know, sometimes the doctors seem so busy and I feel they have much sicker people to treat than I. So, I really try not to take up too much of their time. When I first started treatment everyone at the clinic was very patient with me, answered all questions, and waited for me to decide how aggressive I wanted to be with my treatments, but now that I am down to 6 month visits, all appointments go pretty fast, and I am OK with that. Everyone can have a bad day, but if it keeps up, you will need to do something even if it means changing doctors and/or clinics. Good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • kashubian's Avatar

      It wasn't our oncological facility that is at issue, but rather a visit made to address a health concern of mine rather than my husband's. The issue was with a nurse prior to my actual visit with the doctor. She made me feel so insignificant as if I was a bother and I did discuss her behavior with the doctor, who did understand my issue and said they would educate the nurse and explained that she understood that I would not have been in her office if I wasn't ill. I explained that I was used to the type of care we get in our oncology department. A similar experience occurred when trying to straighten out billing on my dad's behalf, I am his caregiver as well. I felt so hamgstrung by the experience, it did take me off at the knees, as if because my profession is not in healthcare I was less than. I didn't like it. I do prescribe to the idea that we need a team around us to be effective in solving health issues, especially complicated ones. Sometimes the professionals don't act like they appreciate the team mentality.

      I greatly appreciate the input and the good ideas on how to handle this in the future. I really didn't like how it made me feel ineffectual or marginalized.

      over 7 years ago
    • BabsWon's Avatar

      So sorry you were treated so poorly. Hopefully, the people that acted that way were held responsible for their actions and will learn, or be forced to learn, to treat all people with equal concern & respect.

      over 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I'm am fortunate that I have a great team that listens to me and we discuss options for treatment, etc. I worked hard to put this team together. I have switched PCPs and specialist on several occasions because of the issue you are describing.

      My current PCP is the best, he knows what I look for in a doctor and recommends ones that he knows will work for me. I am also lucky to live a mile from one of the best hospitals and cancer centers in the country and have lots of options when choosing individual doctors, nurse practitioners, etc for my team.

      over 7 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Is there a patient navigator attached to your treatment center or hospital? Usually that individual is a nurse or social worker who can provide help. If you have someone like that, they may be able to help you bridge the communication gap. Or you could try bringing that directly to the doctor's attention or the attention of the office manager. If none of those ideas worked, it may be time to decide if the doctor is good enough to outweigh the lack of communication. Some doctors are fabulous in their positions but reek as human beings. Only you can make that decision. Best of luck!

      over 7 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      We should rate not listening on a scale of 1-10. I just got a new primary. My problems are strep since May, and thyroid out of range since January. Yes, I have cancer diagnosis and had face radiation for a Christmas present. OK.
      I said to my new doctor this week-first time I saw him- Let me tell you the reasons why my radiology oncologist says that my sore throat isn't a side-effect of radiation. #1, I have a moist mouth, so my throat isn't drying out. He interrupted me and started asking me if I used some spray to help throat dryness. I said, My throat isn't dry. He said many patients are in denial. I stared-THEN I SPIT IN MY HAND AND SHOULD HIM THE SLOBBER. He turned red, and said-You have adequate moisture in your mouth. I ALSO TOLD HIM THAT I CAN BREATHE THROUGH MY NOSE which is another part of the throat drying out. I got the strep test-and -yes- I still do have strep.
      My answer is change doctors if melodrama like spitting doesn't wake them up. My old doctor told me that he doesn't treat cancer-I told him that I have 2 oncologists that do that, but it didn't change anything.
      One method I have is to take my biker grandson in-the doctor is thinking that his computer should be by the door, so he can make a quick escape. But I get some answers.
      I believe that if a doctor doesn't want to care for you, they should let you know,

      Do you know how crazy it seems to say that I'm currently taking an antibiotic for strep that I've had since May-and my thyroid has been out since Jan? The medical community doesn't want to believe me that things like that can happen. It happened because my doctor wouldn't listen. This doctor better listen-next visit we won't be covering 71 years of medical care-just strep. He also decided that I have chronic strep-Not. It's been over 20 years since I had strep.

      over 7 years ago

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