AIBU for wanting to change doctors?

I haven’t been to a general doctor for a checkup in at least nine years (I actually can’t remember for sure). I’m lucky to be pretty physically healthy - I don’t get sick or hurt much - and spending a couple of years without insurance gave me a habit of waiting to see if assorted symptoms would just go away, and they usually have. But I did finally start seeing a therapist recently, and she encouraged me to find a doctor, get a checkup, and run some blood tests, just to see where I’m really at.

The first few doctors I tried to contact either weren’t taking new patients or didn’t respond to my calls and messages at all. So I finally found a larger practice that basically stuck me with the first practitioner they had available.

So far, I’ve had three separate meetings with this Physician’s Assistant, and each one has left me with a worse feeling than the last. While I appreciate not having things sugar-coated, this PA is unreasonably blunt. She seems to care for her patients but completely lacks tact, social grace, bedside manner, whatever you want to call it. She seems to make snap judgments about my mental health based on very short interactions, and she makes offhand comments that really feel like backhanded compliments.

When my blood test results came back, she burst into the exam room announcing loudly that (although I’m not even thirty) I was going to have a heart attack any day, my numbers were off the charts, and that she’d written me a prescription for cholesterol medication that I needed to start taking immediately. She didn’t discuss options with me or explain what the medication does or anything; she dictated her instructions and then marched out.

And, most egregiously, at my last appointment, she told me that a medication I’m taking for [condition #1] is also effective in treatment for [condition #2], which is absolutely not true according to my therapist and the research I’ve personally done on the medication; in fact, for many people, it actually negatively impacts [condition #2].

tl;dr my doctor makes me feel guilty, insecure, and unheard, and I’m not 100% convinced she always knows what she’s talking about. Am I being unreasonable for wanting to find another doctor? Am I being too sensitive?

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When I was in a similar situation, I changed doctors after the first visit. No you are not being unreasonable or too sensitive. This doctor is actually hazardous to your physical and mental well being. You don’t need to put up with it. Find someone you feel comfortable with and switch. If you are in the US, HIPAA guarantees that your new doctor will be able to get all of your records, test results, etc. so you won’t have to start from scratch.

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My Mom and I had to switch family doctors in early 2019 because our less-then-one-year family doctor kept cancelling appointments with us.

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Not at all. Ask office manager to find someone else within the practice so you don’t have to go on the prowl again. Explain why. Tell the manager you need someone who is a bit more empathetic.

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Life is too short and health is too important to have a doctor you don’t trust. If you can’t trust them with routine exams and basic bedside manner, then you won’t want to go when you’re actually sick, and you’re less likely to trust and follow their advice AND less likely to get scientifically accurate advice, sounds like.

Switch doctors now while the stakes are low!

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Absolutely not. Red flags all over the place.

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Thanks, friends. I feel very validated. I talked to a friend who’s a doctor (out of state, and a specialist, so not a lot of help for me there) and he basically said, “It sounds like your styles don’t jive but she seems fine.” Sooo I was feeling a bit like I was maybe being too picky.

On the other hand, I recently spoke to another friend who spent a couple of years working at a different local clinic, and it turns out that this particular doctor is well known for having a less-than-stellar bedside manner and for overloading her schedule to make more money, therefore having to rush through patients. Further vindication for my bad feelings!

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Yeah, overloading schedules for money is not a good sign. It means the practitioner is likely in medicine for the wrong reasons, or at least has been swayed by the almighty dollar at some point. Best to avoid docs like that.

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