Dealing with Doctors

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 9/11/2007 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Love them? Hate them? We certainly can't live without them!

I had a child rheumy since I was diagnosed. He was the nicest sweetest and smartest doctor I've come across. He always explained things well (I was always asking questions) and was constantly reading and researching new things within the field. Due to hospital politics, though, he had to leave. He went to another hospital, where he is much happier, and I was welcome to see him there. However, due to more politics and my age, I have to see a new rheumy.

My new rheumy has a lot to live up to and so far he's falling short. He doesn't really answer my questions and seems to brush them off as if I don't know what I'm talking about. He changes my doses without explaining why, examines me and doesn't explain anything. He also doesn't seem to be very on top of things. I don't think he's a bad doctor, but something tells me I need to pay extra attention with him. Perhaps I was just spoiled with my old rheumy.

Anyone have experiences like that? Do you just see your doctor as just that dude you pay to make you feel better, or is it something more? Should we even expect more?
Diagnosed SLE 2002, Raynaud's and Hives 2004, Lupus Nephritis 2007
cellcept, prednisone, plaquenil, zrytec, cozaar, nexium, furosemide, oscal + d

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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 9/11/2007 8:03 AM (GMT -6)   
melissa, I can't imagine going from such a wonderful doctor wo one who really doesn't seem to care about the doctor/patient relationship. I have had doctors like that and have found that if you aren't comfortable with your doctor, it's time to search for another one. Don't settle for someone who is not a good match for you and it seems that this rheumy does not respect you a whole lot if he doesn't answer questions or explain why he is doing things.

A couple of ways you might look for a new rheumy might be to, first, put in a call to your pediatric rheumy and ask him if he knows of any really good rheumies who are caring and have good communication with patients. Another way to find a good rheumy would be to go to a local lupus support group (if there is one near where you live) and ask people there about their rheumies.

I definitely don't think you should settle for what you are getting with this rheumy and you should be able to expect more than what you are getting.

Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 9/11/2007 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi melissa, you can tell from my signature quote that I've had a time with docs. Around here, it takes you two to three docs to get to one you like and is good. Usually the first one you get referred to is lousy, tells you nothing is wrong at all without looking at you. I swear its a conspiracy. :)
But anyway, if I were you, I would seek a second opinion or go the the office mgr of the group and tell them about your history with the other doctor, that he has treated you since you were a child and, without putting the other doctor down, maybe see if she would ask him if he could take you back, since you do have a serious illness and he has seen you all your life and it makes since. I will often say that you think the other doctor is not a good fit for you, personally, and you feel you will get better care with your previous doctor, if he will have you back. That would be probably all you need to say. Most likely, if he's not totally swamped, he may see you, at least once in a while. I wouldn't threaten. If not, you may need to seek a second opinion on your care elsewhere. There's no point in staying with a doc that is not a good fit for you personality wise. It just doesn't work out well alot of the time, though sometimes these docs are just really swamped or having a bad day and are good guys, but just can't deal with a lot of questions that day. But if you feel he is oozing arrogance or really brushing you off, try another. Just because a doctor is famous and "the best" doesn't mean he or she will be the best for you, and if they aren't, they will never trust you or believe you and the care you receive will be substandard at best. I was told that long ago and it has proven itself time and time again. Find someone who listens and cares and addresses your issues, you deserve that. I hope that you have luck getting back with your old rheumy and I think you will, at least you might get put on a list for an opening when he is taking patients again. Most docs are curious to see how their patients have progressed and like to continue caring for the same patients through their lives. Good luck.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 9/11/2007 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Melissa,

I agree with Hippi and Marji . . . if your next appointment goes as poorly try another doctor.

I had a really personable rheumy who no longer takes my insurance sad and it has taken my from December till now to find another. Now my appointment isn't until November 15 . . . but hopefully he will fill the bill.

I may replace my primary too because I never feel like he takes me seriously.

In His Grip!,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum
UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), Hashimoto's, Irratable Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis
Clickable Links:   Healing Well:  Lupus Resources ~~ Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Facts and Overview: Lupus.Org  ~~  Criterea for Diagnosing Lupus (4 of 11):  Lupus Criterea  ~~   Lupus Foundation Chapter near you  Lupus Chapter Locator

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/11/2007 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Melissa. I totally agree with what everyone else has already said. I am on rheumy #3. I would not settle for inadequate care! Whatever the excuse may be, your health will still be what suffers because of it. This disease is SO difficult to deal with. I think it is an ABSOLUTE MUST that you be able to clearly communicate with your docs and them understand and take you seriously! You are certainly not alone. Good luck and take care,
Always looking for the silver lining, Sharen

SLE '06, Sjogren's '06, Traumatic Head Injury '94
Prednisone 10mg and tapering, Caltrate 1200mg, Multi-vitamin, Prevacid 30 mg, Actonel 35mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 9/12/2007 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies everyone!
I think I will contact my old rheumy and try to see him or someone he recommends. I'm in the middle of flare right now and seeing a renal doctor that works along with this rheumy, so I think that may cause some issues. The renal doctor is really nice and I wouldn't want to lose her as a doctor.

Take care everybody!
Diagnosed SLE 2002, Raynaud's and Hives 2004, Lupus Nephritis 2007
cellcept, prednisone, plaquenil, zrytec, cozaar, nexium, furosemide, oscal + d

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 9/12/2007 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Melissa, I wouldn't worry about your renal doctor being upset about your changing rheumy's. People change doctors all the time, get second opinions, and if a doctor doesn't understand that then he or she has too big an ego to begin with.

My theory about doctors has always been that since there are so many good doctors out there, why settle for someone who's mediocre or who has a lousy bedside manner. In my experience, the doctors with the real good reputations usually know how to talk to their patients. It doesn't cost any more to see the best, so keep on looking till you find someone you can trust. I think that calling your pediatric rheumy is a great idea!

Good luck!

Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines.
cellcept, neurontin, prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, triamterene, tramadol, actonel, tri-est, imitrex, cymbalta, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

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