As a patient with a chronic pain, I know first-hand what it feels like when your doctor isn’t listening to you. S thee following post is based on my experiences, I’ve come up with a step-by-step guide on actions you can take to advocate for yourself when you feel your doctor isn’t hearing you.
As a patient with a chronic pain I understand what it feels like when a doctor or the staff are not listening to you.
I used to work for a couple doctors and they have a crazy busy life.
They face demands from insurance companies, patients, hospitals etc… I imagine balancing their life continuing education and schedule has to be difficult
When they ask you how are you doing? Don’t say meh okay : Tell the staff whats wrong Maybe that day you feel pretty good but what about last month. last week, yesterday? They cannot help you if they don’t know whats going on…so please speak up…keeping a journal helps
I’m feeling pretty good today, but there have been days where I’ve missed work due to joint pain and fatigue. Some days, I can barely get out of bed the pain is limiting me at work. I’d like to find out if there is anything that may help me have less pain, fatigue, more energy…etc
If the doctor is listening he or she should be responsive to this conversation, but If they disregard your remarks and questions and you feel your concerns are being dismissed, try one more time. Make sure you answer all the questions they have of you honestly, and at the end of your appointment, let them know you still don’t feel like you have answers or suggestions on how to have less pain, less fatigue or whatever your health concerns are.
This is your time and money so don’t let it go to waste don’t be afraid of of seeming pushy or taking up too much time. ASK QUESTIONS
Before you go to your appointment write down some questions on paper put that paper in your purse or wallet.
If I have a question on a new medication, who should I call? You or Pharmacist?
If my medication is to expensive is there something cheaper that’s just as effective?
If I’m having a flare, should I use the patient portal to contact you, or call the office?
Will this in my case bone condition get any better through physical therapy? Prp or A2M injections ?
If you do not feel like a care team member is hearing you and you have exhausted all attempts to communicate with them, it may be time seek alternative care.
If this is what you decide to do, don’t just up and leave. Make your concerns known to the people in charge. Find out who the person in charge is and give them examples of when you didn’t feel heard in writing.
When you do find a doctor that listens to you and acknowledges your concerns and health goals, be grateful that together you can both create a treatment plan that works for you. When you’re a part of the process, you may be more likely to adhere to the plan and get back to the ultimate goal:
Living The Best Life We Can