• I don't feel comfortable with my new oncologist and his ideas. How do I tell him?

    Asked by ButterBean on Friday, August 31, 2012

    I don't feel comfortable with my new oncologist and his ideas. How do I tell him?

    New doctor comes in and starts making statements about my chemo experiences that made it very obvious he had only skimmed my charts. He had more to say about controlling my weight and blood sugar than anything else. He ended our appt by telling me he wasn't like other doctors, he didn't order scans just because that was the normal thing to do. He asked me to consider a question for a few days then call him back with my answer. He asked me if I had a positive scan, if I would be willing to have surgery again. Once he had my answer he would proceed with a scan if I am willing to undergo another surgery. I was so confused by his attitude that I didn't even ask him what options I had if I weren't willing to have surgery...or if I was to just wait to see if I got sick again... I just said ok and left. Now I feel foolish for not being able to ask/say what I needed to. Everything, from diagnosis to surgery to treatments to now, all just happened so quick, I'm still confused and reeling.

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      When my dad sees the oncologist at the office, it's $250, not counting the bloodwork or anything else but a doctor consultation. You, your insurance, or both are paying for the care you want and need. So you can switch anytime you want if you feel uncomfortable, and I don't think a doctor will blink twice before moving on to the next customer in the waiting room. There's no sense paying to go in and tell him you're switching. When you find someone you're comfortable with, just call on the phone and tell the office you've decided to try another doctor, and ask what you need to send your medical record over. Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I used to do the same thing, when I was first treated. I didn't know any better, just figured he;s the doctor, must know what I need. That was 24 years ago, these days I am XXX on wheels when dealing with them. If they say something I don't understand, we don't move on to something else until I get answers. If I have questions, they get answered, I don't care how much of a hurry they look like they are in. I sat in the waiting room for an hour, then another hour in the exam room, they come in in a flash and are in and out in 4 minutes. I am going to get my time's worth.

      If you don't want to change yet, or don't know, go back, and ask questions. Don't get intimidated by the attitude, or the rush. Ask the question, look them in the eye and wait for the answer. Then next question, don't let him leave until you get answers. I wouldnt be put on a timeline to give an answer or a decision on something so important, if your not comfortable with the situation, tell him your going to get a second opinion since it is such an important life altering decision.

      Hope you get peace with the answers!

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      How did you end up with this new oncologist to begin with? What happened with your old oncologist? I would think any time anyone changes doctors, whether an oncologist or now, there are bound to be differences in both medical protocols and communication styles. The new doctor has to start with scratch with you and you with him. So he lays out his recommended treatment plan and you need to ask a lot of questions. I think you need to start though by asking yourself what is it that you don't feel comfortable with. Is it the change in oncologists, the new oncologist's communication style, or his medical competence? Once you have figured that out, you tell him exactly what you are uncomfortable with. It would be difficult for him to respond to "I am uncomfortable with you" if you can't tell him what it is about him that makes you uncomfortable. As far as ideas go, tell him what your ideas are and ask him to address why he thinks his ideas are more in your best interests.

      over 8 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Please write down a list of questions and concerns, and bring the list with you to an appointment (schedule one if you don't have one upcoming.) Insist that he respond to all of your questions and concerns. You hire him. You can fire him. I consulted with a dr who didn't listen to anything I said, and only glanced at the report I'd sent ahead. As a result, everything he wrote in his post-visit evaluation was wrong (listing medications I wasn't taking, family history facts, other material information.) Needless to say, I never went back to him. (Btw, his prognosis gave me a maximum of 5 years; I'm now over 5 years out, and quite healthy, thank you.)

      His answers may not be what you want to hear, but it important that he answer the questions you ask, and not side-track them. If you cannot establish a comfortable foundation within which to work, then look for another onc. You are dealing with your life here.

      We're often too worried about hurting the feelings of drs. That should not be a concern. We hire them to take care of us. They cannot ethically modify their treatments because they don't like us. You need to be comfortable, to know that your dr is listening to you, and hearing your questions and concerns. If that is not the case, please find another dr.

      over 8 years ago

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