• If you have fired your doctor, how long did you wait, and what finally made your decision to do it?

    Asked by KancerKiller on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    If you have fired your doctor, how long did you wait, and what finally made your decision to do it?

    31 Answers from the Community

    31 answers
    • amontoya's Avatar
      amontoya

      I've fired two doctors. First my kids pediatrician because his nurse was so rude. I complained to him and when he did nothing we left his practice. He called me when the records were requested and I told him again how I felt about her. He eventually fired her and I see him for allergies. (He has two specialties)
      The second doctor I fired was due to her long wait times. I believe my time is just as valuable as anyone else therefore I will not wait two hours for a doctor appointment. She was always late! I have no time for that!

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      If your mechanic was rude, took forever and didn't do a good joy YOU'D FIRE them.
      I say find a decent human being as well as a clinician with a good and strong curiosity...

      almost 7 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      I changed pcp many years ago. My old doc would keep me waiting 3 hours, then request payment in the office. A month later, I would get a bill for my copay. The first time this happened, I called and the insurance company wrote it off. The second time it happened, they wanted a copy of the cancelled check (cost $3 to get at the time). So, they paid me for the copy, but I couldn't deal with that. It showed me why I had to wait 3 hours, the staff was incompetent and the doctor was no better. My current pcp's nurse does her best to keep him on schedule, by getting me in the room and ready to be seen by him. So, if he's running late, it's due to a patient needing more time than they booked for their appt.

      almost 7 years ago
    • pammyjo's Avatar
      pammyjo

      I fired one Dr. very early in my journey. After my first appointment with him I started looking for alternative care wich was difficult as I had no insurrance. Even though he made the correct medical choices and moved quickly, he was incredibly rude to me and refused to answer any of my questions. I saw him three times before I found a new and awsome Dr. at a large teaching hospital. I have since been grateful that he was so bad and not just mediocre. If he had been mediocre, I probably would have put up with him longer and I probably wouldn't now be being told that I have a good possibility of hearing the word "cured" in a few years.
      Don't settle for bad or even mediocre; If something doesn't feel right, move on!

      almost 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      I ‘fired’ a cardiologist after he called me at home and left a long detailed message of my test results on my answering machine. Only I didn’t have that test! It was another patient! And the thing is, I had seen him about 6 times and the last time only the week before, he should have know right away that there was some sort of a mix up. He had addressed me by name on the message, and he really should have remembered that I hadn’t even had that test done. Honestly if I had only seen him once and months before maybe I would have been more understanding. But this showed extreme negligence on the part of his office, and that he wasn’t paying attention to his patients! Bad doctor!!! And the thing is he is a famous cardiologist that other doctors go to, UGH!!! Sometimes the famous doctors start riding on their reputation and get lazy....who knows! But needless to say I got another cardiologist and a better one as well.
      And the bad cardiologist- now he has become one of those lousy doctors that request a big fee to be on their schedule- $1,800.00 a year! For what? That way he has fewer patients and makes the same amount of $- what a jerk! I think that we need doctors that are in the field because they want to save lives and heal people! A lot of my doctors also volunteer for charity work- doctors without boarders- free clinics- all that kind of stuff. That is very important to me that they in the field because they want to save lives and help people! Of course they have to make a living, we all do, but that shouldn’t be the primary reason for their choice of career- at least not to me. And once I started searching out ‘healers’ I found that I had much better medical care. Of course that is easy to do in a big city like LA where there are thousands ( literally thousands ) of physicians to choose from. My rant of the day!!!!

      almost 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      P.S. My current ENT sent out lab work to a lab that wasn’t covered by my insurance once- the bill was over $500! He paid it himself and did it without me even asking for help! I’m on disability and it would have been very hard to pay this bill and he knows that. He is a well known and high end Beverly Hills doctor who has a few movie stars for clients. You would think that he was in it only for the $ but he volunteers and even organized a charity organization to help people. And he travels around the world on his own dime to do surgery on children with facial deformities. He also never talks about his charity work, I happened to find out by another doctor. This is a good doctor and why I go to him, he is also sharp and has a well organized office.

      almost 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      I guess I am kind of obsessive about my doctors! UGH! But after having lupus for over 30 years which is a chronic illness and now I have chronic cancer- my doctors are such an important part of my life that I am very fussy about who I go to!

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      The way I changed Doctors was that I NEVER went to one....lol...
      Maybe a few times.....lol
      They always FIND something wrong.....Never got helped from a Doc but had lots of tests and scans....
      There isn't much they can do for you except run tests, do scans and order drugs....and Take a lot of your money. What really galls me is to be asked back after blood work and he comes in says everything is ok and then charges you $75 or so.......What's up with that. They teach them that in school as part of marketing.

      almost 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      Oh Barryboomer! The voice of cynicism! ;-) I think that you’re great and I love your songs, but I also think that you must have had some lousy doctors to feel this way. Because there are some wonderful ‘healers’ out there, seriously there are! People who went into medicine only because they wanted to help others and save lives! Yes they may not be the majority, I realize that...and I’ve had to search myself and devote a lot of time and energy to find good healers.
      I’ve had a lot of bad doctors and I have fired many over the years. Another firing story- I had a gyno tell me once that I must have been wearing dirty underwear due to all these sores that I kept getting, I had bechets disease! She was an idiot, and I told her so! Honestly, read the chart of the patient! I didn’t go back to her needless to say.....UGH!!!! Bad doctor of the year award to her! If I had only had doctors like that one and the cardiologist- I would never go to one now!

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Hey Lily.....Doctors Don't Heal anything....Our body heals.
      They are not in the healing business.
      They can help with symptoms but nothing they do heals anything.
      They CAN set a bone but the body heals itself.
      I've had a few nice Docs but very rarely went to the Doctors.
      B

      almost 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      See the voice of cynicism rises again! ;-)
      Yes our bodies heal ourselves, but a good doctor will give our bodies better odds at healing and more opportunities and direction to heal when they take care of us. They set the broken bones, take out the bad stuff, correct deformities in children, send people down the road to recover and point us in the right direction!
      One of my bad analogies- I teach dance, my students use their own muscles and concentration to move and dance with their bodies. I can’t get into their bodies and practice for them ( although I sure wish I could at times ). But I give the students the correct tools to do so and I show them the proper ways to move their bodies to build up strength and skill.
      They couldn’t learn to dance at a high level without being shown how to dance at a high level, although anyone can feel the music and move- it takes study and skill to be able to move well and do complicated movements. Even somebody who has never taken a lesson is still getting ideas and being inspired by seeing other people dance. And sometimes our bodies can not heal without being show how to heal, and given the tools to heal.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      I've fired two doctors who were treating my partner.

      1. Her local neurologist basically told her, "Yes, you have brain damage. No, we don't need to do a follow-up." Say what? We live in a sparsely-populated area, so local services are limited. We now travel 75 miles to a new neurologist who is wonderful. He ordered an LP (the local neuro had ordered only an MRI), then referred us to a cognitive neurologist, and we had seen an MS specialist on our own. After years of being misdiagnosed, my partner finally received the dx of MS that acts like traumatic brain injury (lesions are in her prefrontal cortex).

      2. My partner had been told to see a psychiatrist, since interim diagnoses from therapists had included OCD and schizophrenia. I vet new doctors as best I can -- the local (fired) neuro had been recommended by a friend and the psychiatrist had been recommended by two other doctors. The psychiatrist had two weeks to review my partner's records, which I delivered on my own -- info often doesn't get from one doctor to another. I ask for copies of medical records, scan them into my computer, and have hardcopy available. We had seen the psychiatrist prior to my partner's MS diagnosis. The psychiatrist took my partner at her word (my partner self-diagnoses, including surgeries that were never performed) and prescribed antidepressants, which made my partner fall and gave her brain shock -- as my partner described it, it was as though a cherry bomb had gone off in her head. I asked the psychiatrist, "Did you even read the medical records?" The psychiatrist said, "I glanced at them." We high-tailed it out of there.

      almost 7 years ago
    • pammyjo's Avatar
      pammyjo

      Lilymadeline; Love your analogy! My amazing Dr / Healers are also in LA. Though I have a 4 hour drive to get to them.

      almost 7 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I have fired pediatricians when they treated me like they thought i was an idiot. Best move ever because i got doctors - husband and wife team - who were 100% in it for the medicine and not the money. Fabulous, fabulous people.

      Like Barry, i wasn't a doctor goer at all. NO doctor ever got a second visit from me. I LOVE my pcp ... she saved my life. I quit going to my first oncologist because i couldn't abide his staff ... from the front desk, to the girl who took vitals, to his nurse, to the chemo nurses ... rude, rude, rude. I liked the girls who drew blood and loved the doctor, but dealing with the staff ... no fun. (I had changed doctors because i followed a clinical trial. I was going to my first oncologist mostly for support at the point that i decided his staff was too rude.)

      almost 7 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I fired the radiologist who misdiagnosed my breast cancer by not even doing a simple needle biopsy (done by the breast surgeon who then called me three hours later to give me the news). Not only did this radiologist blithely tell me, after a mammo and sonogram for my palpable lump, that "It's nothing. Come back in a year," but she misdiagnosed two other women I ended up meeting (met one during our treatment; the other is a neighbor). I am remiss in having never filed a complaint against this radiologist with the radiology medical society (from what I know, the other two women never did, either). BTW, this radiologist was very dismissive and unconcerned when I called her to tell her that the "it's nothing" lump was very much "something." Her response: "I hope it's not a quickie!" I did tell my breast surgeon and my oncologist all about this, including her name. And I'd never even LIKED this radiologist but was too passive to find someone else - in a city teeming with radiologists!

      almost 7 years ago
    • kkcomm's Avatar
      kkcomm

      I fired our PCP when it took his office 5 months to get my husband a referral to a urologist after his PSA started climbing. Just as I finally got the referral he started having heart problems and the only person in the office that could do a referral for his stress test was not in again. I literally stayed in their waiting room and stomped my foot and cried. I asked them if they were actually going to let him die for lack of a piece of paper. They finally gave me the order. After his heart surgery I called the office and complained to the referral persons supervisor. She asked me what I thought she should do. I told her that I wanted that person fired. She thought that was a bit harsh. I told her I had copies of the doctors notes in May requesting a referral to urologist and we never got the appointment until October after 11 phone calls from me and that if my husband had cancer that was growing untreated for five months I was going to be harsh through my attorney unless that woman was fired. I called back two weeks later and asked for that person by name and she was no longer with them. My Dr actually quit this practice because of these issues. A practice he had started years before and then sold to a corporation so he could concentrate on just his patients. Good news is he moved to another local practice and we went right back to him. How many Drs. do you know that see you in the waiting room for labs and come out and hug you?

      almost 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      In 27 years of getting treated for cancer I've learned that there are some great/very intelligent doctors out there. There are also some very sorry ones. Someone has to finish at the bottom of the class or just barely get by, right? So I've learned what a good doctor acts like, same for a clinic or hospital. If you have been to several facilities over the years you get to see the difference. So after I had the opportunity to be in some A1 places, now if I go to a smaller local facility I am pretty harsh with them and I don't mind letting them know that they need to step it up and pick up the pace on how they are treating patients, etc. Sometimes they look at me like I'm an idiot, others will say, "yes, I know, but this is just how it's done here". I have changed doctors once, I guess that's the same as firing him. I had a lymph node show up in my right neck at the beginning of my last diagnosis. I knew what it was, I wanted a needle biopsy right away. He insisted we get a Cat Scan first, because "that will tell me everything I need to know". Well, the scan report came back as "unremarkable" swollen lymph node. What??!! Then he decides we will do the needle biopsy, and guess what, positive for cancer!! Now the scan, NOT covered by my insurance, so that and the report was about 4K I was responsible for that was not needed. Kind of ticked me off, so the next time I needed just a small PCP visit, I went to someone else.

      almost 7 years ago
    • DJS's Avatar
      DJS

      I've been dealing with chronic illness for 15 years now, and I'd really have to put on my thinking cap to remember all the doctors I've fired. The first one is the hardest. Don't fire them just because you don't agree with them; make sure it's because they've really made the wrong call or you don't feel you're getting the care or respect you deserve. But yeah -- sometimes someone who is a really fabulous, respected doctor for someone else is just not the right one for you. Here's the deal, though: when I started my journey I was dealing with an issue that wasn't as urgent as cancer. With cancer you really can't XXX around time-wise. My friend was really unhappy with her oncologist for various reasons -- he wasn't returning her phone calls, wasn't answering her questions in their meetings, etc. -- but for various reasons -- he was considered one of the best in his field, his office/clinic was convenient -- she lingered there longer than she should have. She came to my doctor when that doctor's chemo potion wasn't working and he just wasn't responding as she expected. Now, I can't honestly state that things would have been totally different had she acted sooner, but whenever her name comes up with our mutual doctor (she became my BFF, and I was there when she passed away), he gets very wistful and says softly, "If only I had gotten to her sooner." I think that says a lot. With cancer, you have got to GET MOVING.

      almost 7 years ago
    • DJS's Avatar
      DJS

      Barry, I'm just reading your "doctors don't heal anything" entry. As a person who's walking around with someone else's kidney, I beg to differ. I had two cancers, and due to the remarkable work of doctors' research and my personal oncologist's choices, I'm cancer-free today. My husband's father is enjoying 35+ years because of the doctors who worked on his open heart surgery team. I could go on and on, but you've probably stopped reading this because you've got your own philosophy. There are a lot of us walking around who are testaments to the miracles doctors perform constantly that refute your theory. If you don't want to go to doctors, that's your choice, but to deny that they are healing forces in this war against cancer and other diseases and injuries is lunacy. Make that Lunacy.

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Hey DJS....I agree with you with some things like surgery and trauma....fantastic stuff.
      I was referring to the everyday chronic illnesses that are a real problem in our Country....Diabetes, Obesity, Vascular Diseases, Asthma etc....there are drugs that help the symptoms and I've used them BUT they don't get to the root causes. I guess if we want information about HOW TO GET Healthier in general we shouldn't go to a Doctor in the first place.
      BUT I admire the Doctors in lots of ways but they are working in a tough environment....too many patients and not enough time and lots of debt etc and awful paper work and insurance companies.
      BUT I still maintain that our bodies do the healing with some assistance from Docs......They have a very difficult job and have their OWN lives and problems to contend with.

      almost 7 years ago
    • vcollier's Avatar
      vcollier

      I'm on the verge of firing my oncologist because he doesn't answer my questions and isn't respectful of what I bring to the table. Now he has made a referral without telling me and I'm trying to figure out why this doctor's office is calling me to make an appointment. It's just not easy to find a replacement when you're in a rural community. His nurses and staff are great and there is another doctor who specializes in my cancer in the group. I'd love to make that switch but sounds very politically tricky to me. Right now, I'm in the stewing about what to do stage!

      almost 7 years ago
    • DJS's Avatar
      DJS

      Barry, we could have such fun sparring over a (healthy) meal! I agree with some of your points, but while scientists work on figuring out root causes of diseases, there have been great advances in treatments. My husband's college roommate, for example, has had childhood diabetes from, well, childhood. Advances in the treatment of diabetes has radically changed in his lifetime, and while he waits for a cure he also waits for his children to grow up, graduate college, and give him grandchildren. I periodically have problems with asthma, and when I'm gasping for air the Proventil or nebulizer I'm handed is a godsend -- I don't need a cure for my asthma, it's the other things attacking my immune system that lower my ability to hold off my breathing problems that I want them to work on. Things are a lot more complicated than just naming a single illness -- sometimes it's many illnesses that manifest in the symptoms of one. For example, a combination of meds I was on caused me to gain almost 100 pounds in four months. Metabolic nutritionists -- who usually specialize in eating disorders -- helped figure out how to turn this around, so it was the science used in obesity studies that worked for me. I have a masters degree in information science so I don't have to depend on any one source or physician to be the captain of my ship, but I could never have diagnosed my kidney failure, cancer, C-Diff, epiglottis, or any of the other life threatening diseases I've survived in my life that appeared to be sinusitis, a cold, laryngitis, etc., without a timely visit to a doctor. Doctors have difficult jobs, yes -- people tend to expect miracles from them, and they sometimes make honest mistakes. Medical science is at its root intelligent, researched guesswork. Paperwork, insurance companies…blah blah blah. I'm a responsible patient that doesn't take advantage of their time, and that's part of the package that they get paid for. When I need one, I am grateful I am able to take advantage of the education of someone who's studied how to make my quality of life better -- cure or merely relief, I'm grateful.

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Any time DJS.....I enjoy changing my mind IF a compelling case can be made.
      BTW.....I have known a few people WITH type 2 Diabetes who went on a Plant Based Diet ONLY and pretty much came off all their Meds and BS is Normal.
      Good Studies out there BUT I realize that changing to this type of diet and cutting out ALL the breads, pastas, cookies, sodas and juices is a non starter. I couldn't do it before I got NHL but started the day of my diagnosis and I'm still on it 99 % Mostly Raw.....I'm Pretty proud of myself but cancer was a wake up call and I just wanted to try it for best over all health. I'm used to it now and actually am fine with it. The rest of me feels great and my antioxidant level went from 16,000 to 47,000 in 3 months of starting on the protocol.....50,000 and higher is the best and 10,000 I think is the worse. I was shocked because I THOUGHT I was on a good diet....lol.....yeah right. Others have gotten some good results cutting out gluten and all cows milk and product for Asthma.
      SO....we are all on our own Journey and we make the best choices for ourselves as there is no 100% right way to go on anything.
      Take Care and Good Luck!

      almost 7 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I'll throw in my five cents by saying that many of us Baby Boomers wouldn't be here - or, if we were alive, would be crippled - had one great doctor-researcher, Jonas Salk, not found a prevention for polio. Add to that all the other preventative medical discoveries that have benefited humanity. The human body can always use medical help in preventing, staving off, curing or stabilizing disease.

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Jonas Salk was amazing.
      I hope somebody comes along for a cancer cure or a Vaccination.
      The guy who came up with the Small Pox Vaccine....also great.

      almost 7 years ago
    • DJS's Avatar
      DJS

      Barry -- my cancers were cured, and many of the others on this board can say the same thing thanks to the protocols set by the doctors we went to. Just something to think about.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Agree with DJS. Cancers are so complex, and I assume that there'll be many, not one, ways of curing them - better yet, preventing them. Scientists are hard at work on the puzzles that are cancers.

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      I'm Very Glad for you DJS

      almost 7 years ago
    • DJS's Avatar
      DJS

      I hope the same for you, Barry. I hope the same for us all.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Oddlyhappy's Avatar
      Oddlyhappy

      Back to the original question. How long to wait to fire a doctor, and why did you do it?

      I think it can be really hard to figure out when to fire a doctor. I know I sure have stayed too long.

      Some are easy - the OB/Gyn who answered his cell phone during the middle of the internal portion of an ultrasound. Yes, that's right. One hand on the magic wand, one hand pulling the phone out of his pocket. I made a complaint to the TX Board of Obstetrics and it was promptly dismissed. Imagine if they swabbed physician phones!

      What about when we aren't sure or we have very limited options? I also have a chronic, hopefully non-cancer condition, so I have seen many physicians in my search for an answer. Including several alternative practitioners (I expect some applause Barry!) I think the same criteria should apply for any medical staff.

      Do they make mistakes?
      Fire them after just one mistake? Does it need to be a doozy?
      How do they handle the mistake if you go back to them? With grace? Ignoring it? Blaming you?
      What's their bedside manner like?
      Are they rude? Dismissive? Condescending? Complete lack of eye contact? No physical exam?
      Do they listen?
      How do they respond to what you say? Do they take notes? Incorporate it into their plan?
      Do they even have a plan? How well do they communicate it?
      Are you included in making decisions in the plan?
      How well do they educate you so you can make an informed decision?
      When you are in pain, how do they show they care? Do they do anything about it?
      Do you feel safe?

      I think we might want slightly different answers to these questions depending on our personalities and how we've been raised. For me, I want someone who is kind and friendly, smiles, makes fairly regular eye contact, is patient with me when I walk slow due to excruciating pain in my legs, discusses what I'm experiencing and educates me on their diagnostic methods and treatment plans. Above all, I want someone who doesn't hurt me - either physically by performing a bad or unnecessary procedure, or by omission from dismissing that there is something wrong.

      'Firing' a care provider of any type can be exhausting. I try to remember to balance it with a little self-care. I lick my wounds, curse... No wait, I curse first. A lot. Then I lick my wounds and some ice cream. Then, take as long a walk as I can and enjoy the outdoors. Deep breath. Shake that shht off, and try again. The hardest part can be walking into the next persons office with an open heart.

      I like living.

      almost 7 years ago
    • DoctorLee's Avatar
      DoctorLee

      1) Cancer is NOT one disease, there are upwards of 200 known types of cancer so there will NEVER be just one cure.

      2) Alternative medicine that works is called medicine.

      3) The plural of anecdote is NOT data. Claiming to be able to change one's mind when provided evidence and then stating your own claims using personal anecdotes indicates a complete lack of understanding of scientific methodology.

      So, I'm in a big city with quite a few options, but I need a female Gyn Onc and those are few and far between and then we have the whole absolutely ridiculous insurance scam to deal with. I have never been comfortable with my Gyn Onc, but I vetted her before I even met with her for the initial consult, and she has a great education, seems knowledgeable, has numerous published papers, but the relationship has gone down hill even more with each visit. She is condescending and does not like to be questioned. I now feel intimidated and I silenced. I do not want to do any followup care with her or anyone, and this could kill me. I have my 2nd 3 month followup visit with her in mid-November and need ideas on how to approach this so I can try and salvage this relationship. There is only 1 other female Gyn Onc who is covered by my insurance in my area and I absolutely hate the thought of going to another new doctor. Will she be any better?

      over 6 years ago

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