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Posts Tagged ‘dissatisfaction’

This post is in response to the topic posed by this month’s Migraine Blog Carnival: Your best tips on improving communication with doctors. My first reaction, mostly because I have had more than my share of neurologists and headache specialists, is that I have no ideas. If I really had an answer, I would not be on neurologist number 4. Wait a minute, given I have seen several different specialists, I must have learned something along the way. For me, the hardest time for me to communicate with a doctor is when I am dissatisfied. This is what I have learned.

  1. Know what you want: this can be harder than it looks. I usually knew what I didn’t want, but not what I wanted. I learned by trial and error, but I suggest that you take the time to become well-informed about Migraine Disease and to ask yourself, “What exactly do I want from this doctor?” What is most important? Expertise? Time? Compassion? Knowing what you want will make it easier to notice when you are not getting it.
  2. Talk first, bail later: Bailing (switching doctors without a word) has been my MO from the beginning. I don’t say anything; I just leave. I may have avoided the pain of expressing dissatisfaction, but I didn’t give the physician the chance to change. I suppose that if I had expressed my concerns first, I may have seen fewer doctors. But, I have to admit I was afraid. Afraid of standing up for myself? Afraid of expressing dissatisfaction? How could I be dissatisfied; he’s a doctor! Yep, strange, but true.
  3. Ask for a second opinion. Bite the bullet, just ask. I agonized for months before I asked. I had every excuse in the book. He is so nice, so caring. He gives me all the time I need. He is so persistent. In the long run, being nice, caring, and persistent were poor substitutes for progress. I had been seeing him for 2 years and not much had changed. Well, I finally asked. Boy, was I relieved when he said sure. He even made the referral.
  4. Leave, if you must, but on good terms. After meeting with the new doctor and asking several pertinent questions about her approach and what her goals were, I decided to make the switch. Before I left his practice, I thanked the doctor for all he had done and that I admired his persistence. He shook my hand and told me he wanted to know what happens. How’s that for a happy ending?

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