How to Fire Your Doctor
Tips to Be Fit
By Vince Faust
What happens when you are at odds with their doctor? It does happen. You can have a falling out with your doctor for a number of reasons ranging from poor bedside manner to blatant mismanagement or misdiagnosis. The reason doesn’t matter, firing your doctor is not easy, but it may be the wisest decision.
Changing your doctor could open you up to some challenges. It’s important that you deal with the situation carefully. You should not be without care or spend a lot of time looking around for a doctor. You may be able to switch between doctors in the same practice but don’t I like that idea. If there’s not a lot of choice in physicians in your area, it’s important not to burn any bridges. In the best-case scenario, both you and your doctor agree that you’ve gone as far as you can together and that it’s time for a change.
If possible before you decide to fire your doctor, try to first repair the relationship. Try to put your finger on the cause of the problem. Try to find out if it’s the doctor or is it you. Try to be logical, ask yourself if the problem is something that you feel the two of you can work on. If it takes steps to smooth things over and try to establish a better working relationship. If it’s impossible to work it out, it’s time to fire your.
You don’t need to tell your doctor why you are leaving. If you are leaving because you don’t have a choice, then it shouldn’t be difficult to do so. It’s good for your doctor to know you aren’t leaving because of some problem they’ve caused. Sometimes your insurance company may be the reason for the change.
Try to make the transition from your old doctor to your new doctor go smoothly. Make sure there are other doctors who can help you before you leave. The new doctors should have room for new patients. Find out if they take your insurance plan. Schedule a last visit with the doctor you are leaving. Get a status report on current and recurring health conditions. Take notes and take a second person with you if possible. This last visit could be a great time to discuss your reasons for leaving. Try not to burn any bridges. The community of doctors is small even in large cities. Trying to make things difficult for your doctor may make it difficult to find a new doctor.
Make sure you get copies of all medical records that relate to any current or chronic problems you have had in the past five or six years. Any doctors’ notes, test results and other information will be useful to your new doctor. Access to these records is regulated by HIPAA federal government policies which address access to your health records. Each state also has its own laws about how to make formal requests and how that request will be carried out. You need to make the request in writing and you may have to pay for the copies. If your doctor uses an electronic medical record keeping system (EMR), then you may find that the process will be altered, depending on whether the new doctor is using a similar system.
Once you have had this final visit with your doctor and with copies of your records in hand, you’ll be ready to visit your new doctor.
Questions you should ask before you leave your doctor:
1. What is the problem likely to be, among the possibilities?
2. Are further diagnostic evaluation necessary?
3. What can I expect from the natural course of this problem?
4. Is there treatment available to modify the course?
5. How long before I should see the effects of the medication?
6. Are there any side effects of the medications?
7. Under what circumstances should I notify the doctor?
8. Are there any age or gender-related test I should have?
Your doctor’s appointment is your opportunity to discuss medical problems and concerns. By preparing for the appointment you will be less likely to waste the opportunity, and more likely to gain a higher degree of satisfaction from the visit.
Once you’ve found your new doctor the new relationship is just starting.
• Make an appointment to get to know the new doctor. Having a physical is a good way to get started. You can do this before you leave your old doctor. Try not to start your new relationship when you are sick.
• It’s good practice to keep copies of all your medical records. Make a second set of copies of your records so you can keep one set and give the other to the new doctor. Try to give the copies to your new doctor before your first visit. If your new doctor has time, they may review your records before your appointment and that will leave you more time to talk, less of which will be taken up by reading.
• Write down a list of questions for your new doctor to discuss during your visit. You don’t have to tell your new doctor why you left your previous doctor. If you do decide to share that information, do so knowing that you are providing information about your expectations from this new relationship. Discuss these points respectfully and politely. You have to establish a professional, trustful relationship.
• Remember that you must invest as much into the relationship as your new doctor does. Your doctor may be the one who fixes your health problems but it’s up to you to make healthy life choices and comply with you’re doctor’s instruction once problems arise.
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