What You Should Do If You Hate Your Doctor
There was a time in my life that I did not get along with a particular doctor. And let me tell you what, it was not a pleasant experience.
It made life very uncomfortable, and I dreaded what would happen if something went wrong with me during my pregnancy. Aside from the awkwardness of it all, my real concern was wondering if I could trust the doctor. If we didn't get along, could I still trust this doctor?
I think being comfortable with your care provider is so important during pregnancy, especially because, as an OB nurse, I have had the misfortune of seeing women have labor and deliveries that did not go as smoothly as they could have gone just due to a poor doctor-patient relationship. It's so important for the mom-to-be to be comfortable with the people she is with during labor and delivery because when a woman is stressed and fearful, it increases her pain and interferes with the labor process.
So if you find yourself at odds with your doctor, here are some tips:
I think when it comes right down to it, if you find yourself having less-than-affectionate feelings towards your doctor, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Why am I feeling this way? Name specific reasons for your feelings, if possible. It will help you identify if there are steps you can take to repair the relationship. For example, if it's because you don't feel your doctor supports your birth plan, perhaps you could bring up the specific things in the birth plan you disagree on.
- Is it just a gut feeling? Honestly, there might not be a concrete reason why you feel the way you feel, and that's still valid. Sometimes, people just don't “click” for whatever reason, and you can honor those feelings, too.
- Will these feelings interfere with me or my baby's care? This is the million-dollar question. All personal feelings aside, you need to be honest and ask yourself if at any point you feel that your health or the health of your baby (or babies!) will be compromised because of this doctor or care provider. If the answer is “yes,” it's time to move on.
- Is there a compromise? Consider all the situations, too. Is there another provider in the same practice you could ask to see? Is there a way you could compromise on anything for your convenience (like not having to switch practices midway through your pregnancy)? Could you talk to another patient who had issues too and find out how she handled it?
In the end, however, I think it's important for pregnant women to realize that doctors are just people. They aren't all-knowing gods, and the truth is, sometimes there will be situations when your doctor may not be the best fit for you and your baby, and that's OK. In the end, your doctor works for you, and if at any point you feel that your poor working relationship with your doctor could interfere with your health, it's time to take the step towards finding a new care provider.
Did you ever have to “fire” your doctor? How did you do it?