I think, at some point in most of our lives, we’ve all encountered a medical professional who we could not even imagine going to on a regular basis. Someone who made our fists ball up in annoyance, or who was so self-righteous we wanted to push their smug face into a pie for lecturing us about something we haven’t done in forever. Someone who never picks up the phone, or answers a question.
It’s truly annoying, but so many of us just deal with it and say, “Well, I’m already here, and changing doctors is so much paperwork…” It’s a lot of paperwork, but it’s worth it to get a doctor who treats you properly. You have rights, and that includes how you are treated.
Most hospitals and even some doctor’s offices where multiple physicians work in one location have a number to call when you feel you have been mistreated, and if you ever feel like that, I urge you to call it. Those people can do a lot to help you get a new doctor in the same building and get the care you deserve. They can explain confusing policy to you and help with other things that may be going on.
But what do you do when that doesn’t even seem to help? Well, that’s when you start looking for a new doctor.
15 The Doctor is Rude
Some doctors, no matter how nice or understanding you are with them and their busy schedules, will just be rude to you, and that’s not something you need in your life. A disrespectful and rude OB just isn’t worth the time and effort. You should be looking to them for their expert advice, but if they’re not flexible, or dismissive of your concerns, when talking to you about your choices, it may be time to look elsewhere for your medical needs.
You can generally tell how condescending or rude they’re going to be to you when you’re asking questions about your pregnancy, or asking about things that worry you, and they blow you off. Some doctors also seem to think they can judge your situation and try and pressure someone into medical procedures they don’t need, whether the doctor has the whole story or not.
Some doctors even judge patients based on their age. The stress that comes with a doctor who is unsupportive just isn’t worth it.
14 The Doctor is Busy
It happens on occasion, sure. You go to make an appointment or call with a problem, and they just can’t fit you in. It’s understandable sometimes. But when you go to call, and every single time you do, they can’t call you back, find out what’s wrong. Or if you get in for an appointment and then you have a problem, you may just have a doctor who is too busy to see you regularly.
Some offices will have a higher than usual volume of patients, but that doesn’t mean they cannot and should not make time for you.
You can usually see how busy they are and if they make time for patients who need them based on what happens when you call with a problem. Sending you to the nurse line is normal, but you having to wait hours on hours for a reply from them is definitely not.
If they aren’t willing to make time for you, because you matter just as much as anyone else, then it may be time to call it quits and find someone who isn’t as busy.
13 Doctor Doesn’t Listen
Rudeness is one thing, but some doctors aren’t rude to you, they just don’t listen. This can be a huge problem, since you know what is happening with your own body when you’re not at the doctor’s office far more than the doctor does. They need to listen to you.
This can also go towards things you want to do when it comes to the birth of your child, where they dismiss your thoughts and simply don’t listen to what you want to happen.
This can happen more than you think, and many women just take it, when they shouldn’t have to. You deserve to be listened to, and your opinion should be valued when it comes to your medical care. And while you go to see the doctor for their expert advice, that does not mean that the things you have to say aren’t useful to your medical care. You need a doctor who will listen to you.
12 The Doctor Is Behind the Times
While some doctors are just a little bit behind the times, others are so far back there that staying with them can be dangerous to your health or your kids’ health. For example, research is showing that a C-section does not necessarily mean you have to have another one. (Many an article on BabyGaga will tell you that.)
But some doctors still think that, well, once a C-section, always a C-section, and won’t allow you to even consider a VBAC. (Vaginal Birth After C-Section) Get a doctor who is up to date on their knowledge. You want them to be up to snuff.
And this particular rule is definitely the same when it comes to getting a pediatrician too. The rules for feeding babies solids have changed, and the recommendation has changed since your parents had you as well. Some pediatricians still go by this though, and they recommend anything from non-medically necessary thickening formula with rice cereal to help babies sleep, to starting solids as early as 2 months.
Do your research, and follow your gut... And consider giving the doctor the boot.
11 Doctor Pushes Meds
Sometimes medication is a great thing. We’ve had many advances that can do a lot of pretty miraculous things to prolong human life. But sometimes, medicine is not necessary, and it’s not a bad idea to be wary of someone who pushes pills for every single problem.
For example, for severe, unable to function morning sickness, a medication could help you get out of bed and function, but for your regular run of the mill morning sickness? Most OB's would suggest ginger ale and crackers before writing you a prescription. Same thing goes for a cold, since many would suggest you try and ride it out.
And again, as I said, sometimes we need medications. Diabetics need their Metformin. Some people need their medicines. But sometimes, there are options outside of the prescription pad, and it may make you wary to have someone who pulls that pad out for every ailment. Talk with them about it first, but if they insist on pushing the pills, you may want to consider a new doctor, one who is more open to all the options.
10 Big On Interventions
This one is more for the women who are preparing for childbirth. Some doctors are not all that ok with letting nature run it’s course, and they’re big on interventions when it’s not needed. And yes, sometimes it’s fully needed, but there are times when, in all honesty, all that's needed is some time, patience, and mama giving it her all.
But some doctors are quick to grab the vacuum, the forceps, and sometimes even rush to a C-section, just to speed things up.
This is one thing you have to discuss with your doctor in advance and find out what their stance is on the whole thing. Ask them what they think about interventions and when do they intervene. And also, don’t be afraid to ask around and get other’s opinions. Some doctors may lie to your face, but other people and their stories could shed some light on the truth.
9 You Move Away
This one is a no brainer, but unfortunately no matter how good your doctor is, sometimes distance is an obstacle that cannot be overcome. You can sometimes make the drive, but if you happen to be pregnant, a long drive just to stay with the same OB is simply too much of a hassle. And you won’t want to drive forever and a day to reach the hospital when you’re in labor, believe me. It’s always better to have an OB who is closer to you.
Be upfront with your doctor, and let them know if you already know you’re planning to make a big move. It’s one of those things that some doctors will help you work out, and they may even have some good suggestions for a new OB in the new place you’re moving to.
8 Things Get More Complicated
Sometimes, things just get too complicated for the current OB you have to handle on their own. That’s when you need to see a specialist, and maybe an OB who has more experience in the situation that you currently have going on.
For example, you wouldn’t want to deliver twins with an OB who has never delivered twins. You also wouldn’t want to have a surgeon who has never performed heart surgery to be cutting your chest open to do a triple bypass.
You’ll know when things hit that point where it’s time to go see someone who is more of a specialist. For myself, personally, I was seeing a midwife with my first pregnancy, and it was going great. Then, I found out she was breech. The midwife was not comfortable with me doing a breech delivery in the center, so she sent me to an actual OB, who could do a C-section. You go to the person who can help you the most.
7 You’re Dissatisfied with Your Doctor
Medicine is a practice, but it’s also a service in many ways. You deserve prompt, kind, and good service from your doctor, and if you’re not satisfied with that, then you may need to consider moving on to another OB who satisfies your needs. If you’re dissatisfied, you’re more likely to have a chip on your shoulder every time you go to that OB's office.
If you do that, you’re more likely to be unintentionally rude, and that’s never a good thing.
In the end, it’s better for all people involved if, when you’re just not satisfied, you go somewhere and find an OBs office where you will be more satisfied. And sometimes, it’s as easy as just meeting the new doctor, to give you that feeling of satisfaction that you were missing at your other OBs office.
6 Lack of Confidence
If you’re not confident in your doctor, or they have no confidence in themselves, then honestly it may be time to find a new place to call home. Confidence is a powerful thing, and all it can take for you to lose confidence in your OB is one really bad piece of advice, or some really unwarranted comment. And when an OB loses confidence in themselves, it’s just as bad. Lack of confidence can lead to bad calls when it comes to medicine.
Once a doctor loses your confidence, getting it back can take a long time, so it may be time to call it quits and find someone new. If you have serious doubts about their abilities, then it’s definitely time for you to head to green pastures. Don’t settle just because you’ve been seeing this doctor since forever ago!
5 They’re Not On Staff
Many hospitals have staff physicians to care for your needs when you’re in there. (In fact, that’s their job…to have doctors to care for you.) But having your OB on staff at the hospital can be a huge help when it comes to deciding if you should stay or go. Being on staff means that your doctor can look at your chart and be involved in your care should they need to.
Not being on staff at the local hospital can make or break whether or not you should stay with your OB, especially if you’re expecting. You’ll want the OB you see throughout the pregnancy to be there to deliver your child, so if they’re not on staff at the hospital you’ll deliver at…well, you’ll just have to settle for a doctor who is on staff. And you won’t want to do that.
4 Not Board Certified In Their Specialty
Now, you may adore that family doctor you’ve been seeing since you were in diapers, but once it’s time to start dealing with your reproductive health, it’s time to think about getting a doctor who is board certified in gynecology and obstetrics. Why? Well, just like any other specialty area, an OB is better equipped to handle your problems and concerns regarding your sexual health, can do specific testing, and more.
Would you go to a Cardiologist with an Urological issue? Probably not, and if you did, they would likely tell you they’re not sure, and to see a Urologist. There is a reason that some doctors specialize in specific fields, and while a family doctor is good for things like check ups, general illnesses, and more, it’s not going to be where you want to be for a more serious issue.
3 Doesn’t Value Your Input
While, yes, doctors specialize in their fields, they should still value the input you have about your body, because, despite what some believe, you know your body best. If you feel something is wrong, you should feel comfortable voicing that, and a doctor who doesn’t value your opinion can make you feel like you shouldn’t speak up.
Any time your doctor doesn’t value your input at all, it’s time to move on to a new doctor. You need someone who respects you, you deserve a doctor who respects you, and you’ll get better care from a physician who respects you. And besides, if your opinion or input is not valued at all, and something is actually very wrong, then you can end up in a very bad situation with something wrong that you told them about, and they blew off, and that’s never ok.
2 Keeps You In The Dark About Medicines
As a patient, you have the right to have knowledge about your prescriptions and what they do, and the risks involved. While, for some doctors, you have to ask for the info, for others, they’ll simply tell you not to worry about it. You should not have to google a prescription or ask the pharmacist for all the details, your doctor should be going over what it does and why you need it with you well before you go to fill the prescription.
When you’re wanting to know what your medications are doing to your body, your doctor should tell you, without any fuss. A doctor who doesn’t tell you what something you are putting into your body is doing to it, is not one you really want to have around. You wouldn’t eat mystery tinned food, would you? Probably not, so why would you take a mystery pill with no explanation as to what it’s doing to you if you ask about it?
1 Doesn’t Work Well With Others
Doctors need to work well with other people, that’s just a fact. They need to work well with their nurses, they need to work well with other doctors, they need to work well with their patients. Being a doctor is not a good profession to be an introvert in. And if your doctor prefers to work alone, well, it may be time to say adios.
At some point in your medical care, there may come a time where you will need more than basic medical care. You’ll need a more in-depth specialist, such as a cardiologist, immunologist, etc. And you’ll need a doctor who doesn’t mind referring you to one. But sometimes, doctors are hesitant, even when there is a problem. If you encounter a doctor who is like this, then it’s time to look around for a new one.
Do you agree with this list? What would make you leave your OB? Let us know in the comments!