You should feel comfortable communicating with your doctor, and he or she should empathize with you and plainly communicate what may be wrong.
But not every doctor-patient relationship is a good fit.
According to the nationwide Angie's List poll:
- 37 percent of respondents have switched their doctors (primary or specialty) within the last two years.
- Of those respondents, more than half said it was their choice to make the switch.
- Some of the reasons respondents switched doctors included: the physician didn't listen/answer questions; the patient moved away from the physician's office; the doctor's bedside manner; the doctor's treatment options; the patient felt rushed during appointments and long wait times and/or difficulty getting an appointment.
- When a patient switched doctors, 47 percent found a new one before they left the former physician.
- 68 percent did not explain to their former physician about why they were leaving.
Angie's List, the nation's leading provider of consumer reviews, including health care providers, has tips on when it's time to change doctors and steps on how to make the switch.
Angie's List Tips: 5 Signs it's time to switch doctors
Angie's List Tips: Steps to take when switching physicians
- Find a new doctor before you leave your old one: Don't assume a new doctor is accepting new patients, or you can get an appointment right away. It's best to find a new physician before you breakup with your current doctor. And, don't forget to have your medical records sent over to the new provider. Keep in mind, you may have to pay for copies.
- Check with your insurance company: Check with your insurance carrier that the physician is covered under your plan before switching.
- Do your research: Consult friends and family members and screen all potential physicians, inquiring about their education and continuing education, practice philosophy, experience and affordability. Read reviews and check their certifications on Angie's List to get an unbiased opinion and consider visiting the office before scheduling an appointment.
- Provide feedback? It's up to you whether you want to inform your physician why you are leaving, but your feedback could be valuable information for the doctor and the office staff. If you're not comfortable speaking to the doctor directly, you can share your thoughts in an email, letter, or online review.