My last post received a response from a doctor that was kind and insightful. I thought I’d copy it here in case anyone doesn’t read other responses. I don’t want you to miss his input! Here is his excellent advice:
“As a doc, I am sorry to hear about your truly shocking experience. It definitely sounds horrible. In reading it, I had a few ideas to help others find good docs as well.
1. I agree if a doc ever says, “I do not need your business” You can be sure he has not put your needs 1st, and getting out of there is a good idea.
2. All doctors, but maybe surgeons more, have issues – too much life and death stuff on their backs – The good ones have found a way to deal with those stresses before they come to the patient room…. If your doc consistently appears stressed or angry, it might suggest he has not figured out his issues.
3. I recommend to all patients that they become experts in their illness (particularly chronic or serious illnesses) No one is as motivated as yourself in getting good care as yourself, and the information is widely available. While some of the jargon is hard, the “conclusions” at the end of most medical journals is pretty straightforward. There are also pretty good websites out there. I love it when a patient informs me of late breaking news on their meds.
4. Even the best docs have bad days, I know I am pretty short with patients if I had someone die that morning… But consistent poor communication skills, defensiveness, and lack of empathy should be red flags that its time to find another.
Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Phillips for his gracious response and wisdom!