by Mackie Swan May 20, 2018
For many of us, going to the doctor is often intimidating - especially if you made an appointment because you are experiencing pain or discomfort. Long wait times, crowded waiting rooms, and the anxiety of waiting on test results can certainly feel stressful. But that stress can immediately turn to frustration, and even anger, if you feel like your doctor is not listening.
Below are some ideas about what you can do if you think your doctor is not listening to you:
Yes, your doctor is a licensed medical professional - but nobody knows your body as well as you do! If something feels off, speak up. Tell your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing, what has changed, or what doesn’t feel normal.
It is important to make sure you understand your treatment plan. Ask lots of questions, and don’t feel embarrassed - there is no such thing as a silly question when it comes to your health! If you receive a new diagnosis, do some research so you can feel prepared before your next appointment. Do you understand why your doctor ordered a set of lab tests or is recommending a new procedure? If not, ask!
...or partner, or spouse, or family member - you get the idea! If you are nervous about an upcoming appointment, it can be helpful to bring someone with you for support. Before your appointment, you can share your goals and questions with your friend. That way, this person can help make sure you don’t forget the questions or concerns you want to bring up in the appointment. Plus, it can always help to relax and calm your nerves when someone you trust is nearby.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to consider getting a second opinion from another healthcare provider. If you feel that your current doctor is not taking your concerns seriously, consider seeking treatment elsewhere and perhaps switching providers. Ideally, you will find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable and that your health concerns are being taken seriously.