Trusting Doctors

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fatherjohn
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Date Joined Feb 2009
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   Posted 6/1/2009 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   

Friends, I will try again. (The last Thread took on a life that was not intended.

It is 1 am and I thought this sounded like a good thread. I hope that if I get to sleep and wake before going to work I can re-read this and still hope it sounds like a good idea. I notice comments in Posts and I have faced this myself. Do we, and if so, how much do we trust our doctors. You read the medical license that is sometimes posted on the walls in the exam rooms but it does not say, graduated 151 out of 152. At least he wasn't at the bottom right. There are places where you can check out doctors but I am not sure how reliable those sites are. We can get recommendations from other, read advertisements or like in my case, he is the only one for over 800 miles that would agree to see me. My questions are simple.

 

What criteria do you use to gauge how much you trust him or her? Do you simply trust him or her just because they have a degree and an office? What steps do you take to check out a doctor before going to see him. On my surgeon last year, I told him I checked him out (even though he was the only surgeon who would agree to see me). He asked me what I found out about him. I told him his wife's name, son and daughters names and what college they are attending, his political affiliation, awards received and some major medical interest causes he had been attached to as a donor. I knew when and where he went to med school and where he did his internship.  He was impressed and maybe a little worried. I am not advocating all this was necessary, but what steps do you take before trusting a doctor to help you with major life issues?


fatherjohn
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/1/2009 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Modlemaker, Anice, Tony, Mom, Straydog, PAlady and others, I am sorry the thread kept stretching out forever, I am not sure what it does that. I re-read my Post today after getting off work and I felt I should try it again.
It is interesting to see how others pick a doctor. Even after picking the doctor and going to see him/her, or even if we have seen them for years, how much can we trust them. As for me, I trust my PCP more than I trust my surgeon or PMS. He just seems to care more and by that I mean he shares his concerns and does not make judgemental statements and always asks me what I think. I know it is his knowledge and wisdom I am seeking but he wants me to be on the same wave length that he is. Unfortuanely, he does not feel qualified to handle long term pain issues. He is not impressed with my PMS and feels that I am undermedicated. My PMS has not made that kind of connection with me so I am not ready to trasfer the trust level with him. What does it take for you to allow that kind of relationship take place?

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 6/1/2009 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Two-way communication gets established and we agree on the major items relating to my health (how we are going to approach treatment(s)). This could also be a reason I look for another doctor later - our approaches begin to differ and we can't find a common ground.

I will give him/her the small things. But we either have to agree, or s/he must be able to convince me on the big issues.

(Or did you not want responses?)
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
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Post Edited (TonyMcGuire) : 6/1/2009 9:28:47 PM (GMT-6)


fatherjohn
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/1/2009 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Tony, I love the responses. The last thread got so difficult to read so I started a new one. I like your idea of giving a little at a time. The issue could be what do we give them. I have heard from others that being truthful up front can have its draw backs as well. I know I have shared things with a doctor that afterwards I wish I had exercised silence.

Morgoth
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/1/2009 9:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I was lucky with my first GP, an Colonel in the Belgian Medical Service (now enjoying his well-earned pension). He gecame my GP since I was 6 months, I knew him most of my life. When looking for a specilist, I always asked for his advice. Those he adviced were all thinking along the same lines, which I liked. Now, I follow the advice of my trusted doctors, some of whom I've know for 2O years when seeking additional help.

Although degrees matter, they don't tell the whole story and often experience is more important. The general attitude of a doctor is most important to me. Good doctors are those who listens to their patients, who are not afraid to admit mistakes or the fact that they don't know what should be done. The human connection is important. A doctor should look beyond the technical details of a case and look at the patient, his/her environment, etc.

In my personal case, I don't like compassionate doctors, compassion clouds judgement. I like straightforwardness. One of my doctors told me he has absolutely no clue as to what is wrong (chronic diarrhea for 20 years now and massive rectal blood loss, amongst other things). We are now exploring, together, other options. The doctors at my local hospital trust me to the point where I administer my own medication sa they consider me to be better capable of judging when I need what kind of medication. We are now trying morphine sulphate to counter the diarrhea. We discuss together (several specialists and myself) the daily dose, the frequency of the medication, etc. I keep my own statistics and write my own reports. That's what I call good doctors; trust works both ways. I realize this is an extreme case, but doctors should trust their patients as well as vice versa.

I suppose it is only human you are a little cautious when first visiting a new doctor, but after a while, you should feel comfortable with such a visit, if not, something is wrong. If you feel uneasy having to see one of your regular doctors, then most likely that's not the right doctor for you. After a couple of visits you should be able to have clear and frank conversations with your doctor without feeling uneasy, no matter what the topic. If not, I'd look for another doctor. Last year I ditched my new GP, she was nowhere near the Old Colonel. Now I no longer have a GP, just my trusted specialists and it works great. We often have combined meetings: several doctors together discussing my case (me being there as well of course).

Those are my, rather elaborate views on doctors. Hope it is worth something to you.
To stand and be still at the Birkenhead Drill is a mighty bullet to shew.


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/1/2009 9:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Morgoth,
I think along similar lines as you in this instance. And I never had a PCP until a few years ago, when insurances here (HMO) required it. I would only need a family physician once every few years for a sinus infection that got out of hand; otherwise, I just went to the specialists I needed. But then I only needed to see a doctor every now and then. After I took my fall a few years ago, everything changed. I can't believe how many doctors I see now, and honestly, I'm not sure I totally trust any of them. The closest is my neurosurgeon, most especially his nurse, Kathleen. I have come to trust her and it is through her my pain needs have been met. As a matter of fact, I just left a voice mail with her tonight requesting a script for 90days worth of pain meds. I only hope I won't have any problems filling it, because that's all I'll have until I can figure out what's next insurance wise. At least I'll get through to September.

Being on the same page. You know maybe that about says it about trusting a doctor. Not that you have to both be in agreement, but that you're on the same page, and there's mutual respect and trust.

PaLady

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 6/1/2009 10:03 PM (GMT -7)   
fatherjohn
For me I trust my pain Doctor, more than any Doctor I have ever had, much more than my PCP! My pain Doc is not only competent, he is caring and for me he does more than my PCP ever did! I mentioned this once before my pain Doc connected me up with a counselor, who I have been seeing for over a year, originally about my marriage, and then to help me through this divorce! When I see him once a month for my prescription refills he alway ask me how I am doing and if I have any problems! and he actually listens, then schedules the appropraite test or makes referrals to the appropraite Doctors! I rarely see my PCP, because between my monthly visits to my Pain Doc and going to convenient care, if I need to have something looked at right away, I seldom see my PCP! I like my PCP but I am not overly confident in her skills or ability! I have more confidence in her Nurse Practioner!

What I look for in a Doctor is a person that takes the time to get to know their patients and cares about them! So it takes a number of visits to find that out. I don't want a Doctor who is Patronizing or thinks they know it all, and blows you off! I have seen to many of them in my day!

White Beard
  I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


shannon1
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 6/2/2009 7:11 AM (GMT -7)   

fatherjohn, im really glad u posted this!

I have been to my fair share of bad doctors over the yrs. When i was about 18, i started getting really sick, chronic sinus infections, chest infections, ear infections, and alot of other issues!  I had a few docs tell me that it was in my head, that i was making myself sick! WTH???

As i started looking for a gyn i had heard really good things about a specific doc in my area. I called my aunt who had worked for 20some yrs at the hospital, and she said he was the guy to see. I have been with him ever since. He is the only doc who will take me at MY word. I can go in and tell him im in pain, and i KNOW it's a ovarian cyst, and he would do an ultrasound and there it would be...he would NEVER make me wait for anything. His bedside manner is second to NONE.  After 3 long yrs of trying to concieve, when i asked for his help, he asked me to see a hematologist. I went to the doc my gyn recommended.

Hematologist was a GREAT doc. Listens to every word, digs deeper than any doc i have ever seen. He is a hema/oncologist. I told him one day that i felt bad seeing him when he treats soooooo many sick people. His response was that he was intreged by me and that it was nice to have someone who was different that he could dig deep into. He ran sooooo much bloodwork, and found that i had clotting disorders, contributiong to my infertility/miscarrages, AND that i had an IMMUNE DEFICIENCY! My questions had been answered, all of my sinus, chest and other infections were a direct result of this immune def!

My gyn has seen me through TWO high risk pregnancies, two premature deliveries, many surgeries and most recent my hysterectomy at age 36! Anyone that he recommends is usually a doctor that he went to school with and i have LOVED all but one that he has recommended, and i had no problem going back to him and telling him to NEVER recommend that guy again! LOL

For me, recommendation by my first trusted doc is the way i have gone and have been lucky to have a group of doctors (ob/gyn, hematologist, rhumatologist, GI & PM) for the last 19yrs! I wish everyone has a group of doctors like i did!  All i can say, is that if u don't like ur doc try, try again!


Jan. 2009, complete hysterectomy, diagnosed stage 4 endometriosis & adenomyosis (age 36)
2003, dx moderate UC
2000, dx selective IGA deficiency w/ anti IGA antibodies
2000, dx Antipholipid Antibody Syndrome
1999-2009, chronic hemmoragic ovarian cysts, w/ partial ovary removal
1977, complete reconstruction of foot after lawnmower accident (chronic pain)
 
Meds
6mp 75mg, prednisone 40mg (just starting meds again)
percocet 5mg 3x day
potassium 3x day
 


edt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 6/2/2009 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Can't read entire postings on the other page but copied and pasted my reply from there to here........alot of times Dr's have had malpractice strikes against them that don't tell the true story!  My judgements and choices of Dr.s  are based on how his/her office hums, you can usually tell by the office staff, if they care usually the Dr does too.  If he listens, is open to hearing your questions and admitting he doesn't know something but is willing to check into it for you and makes you feel cared for or hopeful when there isn't anything else to do, asks how the pain level is, really wants to hear HOW you ARE DOING, REMEBERS your last visit (even if he has to read his notes),  Offers you new treatments if he thinks it might help and makes you feel like you are his ONLY patient...well in my book thats the Dr. for me!! 

XXOO
Patti


modelmaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 6/2/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I think having a great family doc is very first and most important step in conquering any heath problem.. Also the best way to maintain good health over a lifetime. Too many people don't feel they have to go to a doctor unless they have a symptom. I have been through a lot of medical difficulties and I am so glad that I have that relationship with my family doctor. I see him at least once or twice a year for medicine checkups if nothing else. He trusts me so he writes refills for a year but I see him more frequenty as needed. He is interested and concerned to my total well being. Mental as well as physical. When my wife was recovering from breast cancer and he was receiving the reports on her progress from the medical center, he called just to hear first hand how she was doing! He wanted to know how she was coping. Now that's CARING.

When I need a referral to a specialist, we can have very frank, cadid conversations about what I need and want from a doctor. I know he has to walk a thin line when it come to talking about other doctors but he knows what I want and he knows where to go.

But it takes time to develop that close relationship with a doctor. I have been at for 9 years living where we are now. It's well worth the effort.

Modelmaker
Degenerative disc disease since 1985, 4 back surgeries, fused from L2-S1, instrumentation. Being treated for chronic pain. Oxycodone 30 mg. IR. Candidate for SCS in the future.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/2/2009 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
One thing (of several) that struck me was the notion of having a doctor who is curious - intellectually curious - about what's causing our symptoms. I think too many doctors have lost that. It's a 'med check" mentality, and I really blame the insurance companies a lot for that. The changes that have come in health care over the past 30 years have taken so much power away from doctors I think many have just given in. And to an extent I can understand that because I've been on both sides of the insurance form, so to speak.

It's sad. Because I think the caring and the curiosity, put together, are two necessary elements for a great doctor. Not the only elements,but it's a good start. And those are elements that I think over time lead us to trust that a doctor is at least going to try to do his/her best for us.

PaLady

Morgoth
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/2/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
PaLady,

Spot on. Intellectual curiosity is often lacking, surely not only in the States but here in Europe as well where insurance companies don't have that much power. I think an additional reason is the fear to get sued for malpractice. In Europe the fear isn't nearly as big as in the States, but it's growing. Doctors are often simply afraid to try an approach that differs from standard protocol. Furthermore, there is a shortage of qualified doctors here in Europe (don't know about the States) to the extend that Britain had to "import" freshly graduated doctors from Bulgaria a couple of years ago. In my village here in Belgium we have a Pakistani Army Doctor who performs GP duties.

Intellictual curiosity is certainly a major quality in any good doctor.
To stand and be still at the Birkenhead Drill is a mighty bullet to shew.


skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/2/2009 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Before my current problems I hardly ever saw doctors (except my ophthalmologist). My pcp's in the past were alright, although I never felt completely comfortable with any of them, but it didn't matter much because I only saw them once a year for a physical, if that. My current pcp, I love to death. I hadn't been his patient for long before my injury, but he really stepped up. He definitely makes you feel like you are his only patient (you'd never know that if it wasn't urgent, it would take months & months of waiting to get in!). He will & has, spent an hour or more with me. He his extremely caring & compassionate and extremely knowledgeable (and is always doing research for me). He advocates for me, he LISTENS to me, he is always sharp & he's not afraid to tell you what he thinks, or say so when we are out of his league. I would, & do trust him with my life. I wish that every doctor could be like him. I also love my ophthalmologist, who I have been with for over 20 years. He has seen me through so much & never let me down (perhaps with exception of my current situation, but I don't really think he let me down, he has just run out of ideas & options, and so has everyone else!). He has many of the same qualities & I trust him very much as well.

Nowadays I feel like I have so many doctors (because I do!). Some of them I don't like or don't trust, although I have weeded most of those out, with the exception of one, who I am currently looking to replace, if necessary. The one that I didn't like the most, I "fired" yesterday! It felt so good! I knew from the first appointment that we weren't going to get along, yet I had to see him, because he was the specialist in the area who took my insurance. He didn't listen to a thing I said. He never remembered me, my past visits, my history, or the meds he had prescribed for me. He was outright obnoxious & extremely arrogant - his way was the only way. He didn't care about you at all. He didn't except no for an answer (which lead to several torn up scripts on my part, as I had told him "NO" & he didn't listen, so I just ripped up the paper & did it my way anyway - hey, it's my body!). Yesterday was the last straw! He really infuriated me, because he was criticizing my decision by making false claims. I argued with him for ten minutes, before confirming to myself what a "jerk" he was & getting up & walking out of the room and never looking back.

Having trust in a doctor is so important! I don't feel that there can be effective doctor-patient exchange without trust. Nor do I think that you will gain much out of your experience unless there is trust & effective communication. Of course knowledge and drive are important as well. I also look for bedside manner, although there are some instances where it is not as great a concern, but for me, I have a hard time talking to & getting along with someone who has bad bedside manner. They also must be conversive - I need to ask my questions! There is nothing worse than leaving an appointment more frustrated, upset, etc. than when you went in because you didn't feel that the doctor listened, cared, talked with you (rather than at you), let you ask the questions you need to ask, etc -- especially when they break some major news!!

As for finding a doctor. I usually rely on suggestions/referrals from my other doctors (whom I do trust). I also keep in mind things that friends, or patients of that doctor who I may know or talk to say. I do research them on the internet, although I don't always believe what/if anything is written about them. I'm more concerned with their affiliations, and accomplishments, but I never really judge until I meet them in person through one or more appointments. I have never thought about checking with the state licensing board, & I don't think that I would, or will. As others mentioned, malpractice suits are not always what they appear. If a doctor really did something bad, or is one to be avoided, you generally learn of this reputation ahead of time.

Skeye

fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/2/2009 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Shannon, WhiteBeard, Edt, PAlady, Morgoth, Modlemaker, Skeye, I think i have you all. It is an important subject and we all hope that as we visit a doctor for the first, we hope he.she will be the right one for us and that we can build the right relationship. We also seem to know very soon whether or not if it is going to be good or bad or somewhere between. Then there are times when you don't get a choice. I have seen many drs in the 11 years. I have moved 4 times in those years and have to get a new dr each time. Even now, I don't have a chioce even though I am not totally pleased. I still have to work and see if I can build the relationship and get my PKS to see things differently as I am not every other patient he has seen. None of us want our Dr. to treat us like just another patient. I have read that in some of the posts about the time that is spent and the personal nature. As well, I see that having a Dr. that is willing to ask the right questions and willing to look a little further than the obvious. Wouldn't it be nice to write out a list of what we expect in a doctor and had it to them or send it to them before our first visit. It is great to hear what others are experiencing with their doctors as well as how long some have been with their doctors.

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 6/2/2009 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
fatherjohn
 
You are right it is an important subject and we do hope that weget the "right" Doctor and can build the right relationship! You know I have mentioned on several occasions that after my divorce is finalized that I was going to stay in in the area at least for a while until I decided where I wanted to go, and there was nothing really  holding me in this area, as I have no family  here, except my doctors and my medical condition.  But that there is a real biggy! I have a  Pain Doctor that I not only trust completely with reguard to treating managing my pain,  but also for just  about every other aspect of my medical care! Even thouh he is just suppose to be my pain Doctor, he does so much more than that for me! I am honestly afraid that I would never find another Doctor like him! And at least for right now that alone is enough to keep me in this area!
 
skeye I do think you are amazingly perceptive as to what is important  in looking for  a Doctor!
 
White Beard
 
 


  I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV

Post Edited (White Beard) : 6/2/2009 11:34:16 PM (GMT-6)

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