What do you do when you don’t like your doctor? I don’t mean my family practitioner. I actually love him. I believe he has saved my life on more than one occasion by referring me for more tests and to good specialists. I was lucky enough to grow up with great family doctors in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. We always received great treatment. Trying to get in to see a specialist is a pain. It takes forever! So switching is going to be hard too. Unfortunately, I am always going to need a good neurologist.
When all of this stuff started going on with my head, I started out seeing a couple of different doctors. I liked one of them. The other one….not so much. Now I seem to be stuck with the one I don’t care for. Wait…..I take that back. I can’t stand him. He has horrible bedside manner. He’s rude. He doesn’t listen. And he seems to prescribe unneeded tests. He makes me very uncomfortable.
The last time I went to see him, I told him my vertigo was extremely bad when I got off the elevator and came into his waiting room. I was hanging on to the counter while checking in, trying not to lose my balance. His response? “Uh-huh.” I told him about some other things I was experiencing, and he decided to order a carotid ultrasound, and then said, “I don’t think it has anything to do with this, though.” Okay! So WHY are we wasting my time and money? I shouldn’t have to take time off of work for tests that he thinks will be inconclusive, but will cost me more than a month’s salary.
He also increased my seizure meds, and told me I’m not having any side effects. Does he know this without asking me? I asked what the side effects might be, because I am extremely tired, and experiencing more dizziness. He smirked and sort of laughed at me, but didn’t answer the question. He also didn’t explain why he was increasing the dosage. Why am I paying him?
Communication skills are not his strength, but he sure is making some big bucks by being an aloof asshole. I make a fraction of what he makes, and have to have excellent communication skills in my profession. Then I thought about cashiers and people in the service industry…..they better have great communication skills too! Their income depends on it. No one will want to do business with anyone who has poor customer service or communication skills. Why does this guy still get to make a great living and be an asshole? The people in his office are nice……I’m pretty sure they’re the only reason any patients stay with him. After feeling uncomfortable and unsatisfied, I looked at his ratings online. He has very low ratings. At least I’m not the only one.
So I guess it’s time for me to find someone else…..wait for the next opening…..2-3 months down the road? Maybe doctors should start getting performance pay, like they’ve started doing with teachers……and bedside manner is part of their overall evaluation. If patients aren’t happy with the performance of the physicians, then they get the minimum pay, or they lose their job.
As I’ve said so many times before, what does kindness cost? Not being nice just makes people feel crappy, and may cost you in the long run. But being nice doesn’t cost a thing, and always, always, always makes you a good person, no matter what your profession. So adios, Doc, and I am off to find a new neurologist, with good bedside manner, good feedback from other patients, and who will make me feel comfortable with knowledge of my condition.