Firing Your Doctor, When and How

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Have you ever been dismissed by your doctor, health care professional, or specialist? How about being stopped in mid- sentence and your ideas or thoughts disregarded? These are all too familiar until I did the unspoken-I fired all of them. That was when I began my health journey on my own. Listening very intently to its very voice, along with any and all signs and symptoms. We all have an inner knowing which guides us.  Trust me, your body speaks to us every day.

You know when you don’t feel well after eating something unhealthy, you may experience heartburn, fatigue, or bloating. You may think these are normal, everyday symptoms and eventually you get used to them or take a daily dose of Mylanta or Tums and try to ignore it. But eventually that heartburn could turn to a bleeding ulcer, an upper GI (gastrointestinal) bleed and a trip to the ER. Most likely you will need to get an NG tube, which is a tube that is lubed up and put into your nostril and pushed down into your stomach to remove and suction contents, particularly blood. So what began as a little heartburn could  potentially lead to an emergency room visit if ignored. Your body gave you plenty of warning.

I used to ask questions to my specialist like “How about supplements for inflammation?”, or “My joints flare up after I eat, can we test for celiac disease?” The answer was “Don’t waste your money on that testing.” or ” Just stay on your medications, no need for supplements.” Predictions were made that I would be on the kidney transplant list in 5 years, she almost guaranteed it! Well, it’s been 8 years and I’m nowhere near that list.

Talk about being frustrated about not being heard.

It can be very discouraging to be somewhat cast aside by the very person you look to for guidance. But what does one do if there are no other alternatives?

You find someone else.

You stand your ground.

You find a compassionate practitioner that not only spends time listening to you but is also open to your suggestions.

Trust me, this isn’t easy but it’s like being in a relationship with an abusive partner. You wouldn’t stay, so why is it ok to stay because this “partner” is your doctor?

If you consistently get quieted down, your voice suppressed, it’s time to move on, sister!

You need someone who will hold your hand, gently guide you, be optimistic, and above all, listen to you. Being your biggest supporter and ally are qualities to not take for granted.

In today’s medicine, it is difficult for most providers who still take insurance, to provide the necessary time needed for each patient. Unfortunately, more and more practitioners are no longer participating in insurance. This also means they now have the luxury of spending 60-90 minutes during initial visits as well as 30-45 minute for follow -up visits.

So, if you are unhappy with your current practitioner, search for another one. Ask for referrals. Functional medicine practitioners typically spend quality time during each visit and look at the whole person rather than the symptoms alone. You don’t need to necessarily confront the practitioner to let them know you are leaving the practice or you can bravely stand in your truth and state why (silently cheering you on!).

What I wish for you is to receive the support you need for your body, mind, and soul. Your health care provider should be part of your team to not only keep you well but also to appreciate your concerns, your thoughts, and your ideas.

Now, I’d love to hear from you, have you ever fired your practitioner? What was your reason for leaving? How did you feel when you left? Did you find someone that you just loved? If so, what qualities did they have that you love?