How To Break Up With Your Doctor
Monday, December 30th, 2013
As a mother of three and counting, who also works as a labor and delivery nurse, I've had my share of doctor encounters.
Doctors are like people—some are good, some are bad, and some, no matter how hard you try, just seem to clash with you.
Sometimes it's hard for me to see patients blindly following the “advice” of their doctors or healthcare providers. Of course, I trust medical professionals to do their jobs, and, yes, I am thankful for all that they do.
But here's the thing:
They aren't infallible.
And you, as the patient, have a say in your own treatment, including who it is that will be doing the treating.
I have to admit that even I find the premise of being the one “in charge” of my own health and well-being during pregnancy a hard concept. Wouldn't it just be easier to trust my healthcare provider? Don't they know best as the medical professionals?
Well, yes and no.
While I'm sure my doctor might feel a little hurt if I decided to look elsewhere for care, at the same time, I know she, like any good doctor, would understand that this is my health and my pregnancy, and ultimately, I am in control.
Sometimes during our pregnancy, we do need the wisdom, guidance, and expertise of a medical professional to lead us in the right direction healthcare-wise. But other times, something may not just feel “right” with the relationship between you and your healthcare provider.
I've heard of patients switching doctors at 36 weeks, unhappy with how they were being treated or hoping for a doctor who would take their concerns more seriously. Many women, especially in their first pregnancies, need a little extra reassurance from their doctors, which is perfectly fine.
Even I am searching for something a little different this time around. Although I had a great experience with my third pregnancy, I find myself considering a different sort of pregnancy experience this time. Maybe a birth center where no IV is required, and I can include my entire family? But then I start to wonder, “How in the world will I ‘break up' with my current doctor? Won't that be an incredibly awkward conversation?”
Again, yes and no. While I'm sure my doctor might feel a little hurt if I decided to look elsewhere for care, at the same time, I know she, like any good doctor, would understand that this is my health and my pregnancy, and ultimately, I am in control.
Honestly, one of the easiest ways to avoid anything awkward when choosing a new doctor is avoiding the conversation altogether. While you can certainly try to speak to your provider if there is a problem that you think needs addressing, switching doctors can be as simple as choosing a new doctor and having your healthcare records sent over via fax or email. Easy-peasy.
Have you ever had to “break up” with your doctor? How did you do it?