While doctors have studied at medical school, generally possessing more expertise than the average person when it comes to health issues, they are still human. Not every doctor suits every patient who enters their office. People who suffer from chronic illnesses and see doctors regularly, frequently for symptoms that can be difficult to treat or even diagnose, know too well that being a doctor does not necessarily mean someone always knows the precisely correct thing to do. Watch out for these red flags to help make the decision of whether or not a doctor is the right fit.
Require Total Agreement
One big red flag is doctors that insist on total agreement with everything they say before they will work with a patient. The relationship between doctor and patient is a team effort. Doctors need to be willing to listen and adapt. While patients should generally heed a doctor’s wisdom, there are circumstances when the patient knows best about symptoms and past treatment efforts that did not work.
Assume Symptoms are Due to Mental Health
A doctor that writes off a patient’s list of symptoms with a careless proclamation that they are caused by anxiety is one that is exhibiting a huge red flag. While some symptoms may be the result of anxiety, doctors should listen and consider other possible causes. This kind of assumption can result in overlooking serious underlying problems.
Dismiss Symptoms Due to Age
Some doctors will brush off pain with the assumption that, as patients grow older, a little pain is to be expected. If, for example, a patient with years of rheumatoid arthritis behind them expresses a problem with pain, a doctor should pay attention. Patients should be trusted to know their own bodies. Problems should not be attributed merely to age, lest serious issues are overlooked.
Telling Patients They Cannot Be Helped
A doctor who says a patient has no more options is not one that the patient should continue seeing. Again, serious problems can be overlooked with this kind of dismissive attitude toward a patient’s very real problems. Doctors who say that patients should accept the illness they seek treatment for and stop seeking answers are not going to be able to help.