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5 steps to take when your doctor does not listen to your concerns

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2023 | Blog, Medical Malpractice

The doctor-patient relationship is a partnership built on trust, respect and effective communication. Your health and well-being rely heavily on this relationship.

When your doctor does not listen to your concerns, you may feel frustrated and ignored. It is important to take steps to ensure your healthcare needs are adequately addressed.

1. Communicate your concerns directly

Express your feelings to your doctor directly but respectfully. Use specific examples to explain why you feel your doctor is not addressing your concerns. The doctor may not be aware that they are not meeting your expectations, and clear communication can help rectify the situation.

2. Prepare for your appointments

Before your appointment, write down your concerns, symptoms and any questions you have. This will ensure you present your issues comprehensively and coherently. You could also consider bringing a family member or friend to your appointment for support and to help you remember the information discussed.

3. Seek a second opinion

If your doctor continues to dismiss your concerns despite your communication efforts, you may want to consider seeking a second opinion. A fresh perspective can help validate your concerns and may offer new insights or treatment options. In fact, a study completed by BioMed Central showed that a second opinion resulted in 37% receiving a change in their treatment plans and 15% receiving a different diagnosis.

4. Change doctors if necessary

If you still feel unheard after trying these steps, you might need to consider finding a new doctor. It is crucial to have a healthcare provider who respects your concerns and works with you to address them.

5. Empower yourself with knowledge

Educate yourself about your symptoms or condition. Understanding your health issues can help you communicate more effectively with your doctor and make more informed decisions about your care.

Feeling dismissed by your doctor can be distressing. However, remember that you have the right to have a doctor who hears and understands you. Your health is important, and so is having a doctor who listens and responds to your concerns.