Living with Chronic Pain

8 Signs It May Be Time To Find a New Doctor


A healthy doctor-patient relationship is an integral part of long-term health and well-being. Trust and effective communication are the cornerstones of a good relationship. A medical provider should be knowledgeable, professional, and conscientious.

If a medical provider no longer meets your needs or expectations, finding a new doctor is imperative. The following eight signs indicate that it may be time to find a new medical provider to better meet your health care needs.

  1. Poor time management
    It can be very frustrating if a provider is consistently late to appointments. More importantly, if a physician seems rushed and doesn’t take the time to listen to critical needs or concerns, finding a new provider is essential for long-term health.
  2. Lack of cultural sensitivity
    It is important for a health care provider to be sensitive to and respectful of cultural needs. A health care provider should never discriminate based on race, gender identity, political beliefs, religious affiliation, age, etc.
  3. Poor bedside manner
    Some physicians may be inherently formal or clinical, which doesn’t necessarily equate to poor care. However, showing some empathy and kindness provides comfort and establishes good rapport.
  4. Dismissive
    Good communication is imperative for a successful doctor-patient relationship. A medical provider should never dismiss your concerns or insist that they know better about your lived experience. This can result in loss of trust, misdiagnoses, and poor health care outcomes.
  5. Belittling language
    A medical provider should be able to effectively explain health conditions, medical procedures, and treatments in a manner that is easy to understand. However, speaking in a condescending manner is never acceptable.
  6. Intimidation
    A health care provider should never use manipulation or intimidation to procure examinations, procedures, or treatments. They should provide information and recommend the best treatment options, but the choice of treatment is ultimately up to the individual in their care.
  7. Lack of transparency
    A good medical provider is upfront about diagnostic practices and treatment options. If a doctor does not provide answers to questions in a timely manner, doesn’t provide detailed diagnostic and treatment information, or is otherwise opaque about care, this is a good indication that a new health care provider is in order.
  8. Unethical behavior
    Unethical behavior is never acceptable. This type of behavior includes making inappropriate sexual comments; asking for private social media handles; making racist, sexist, or homophobic comments; violent behavior; privacy infringements, etc. In the United States, if a provider is doing any of these things or showing other signs of unethical practice, they should be reported to the appropriate state medical board as soon as possible. In Canada, unethical practice should be reported to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the appropriate province or territory.

Additional sources: Verywell Health, LTC News, Verywell Health, and Federation of State Medical Boards

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