Why You Might Consider Switching Rheumatologists
Perhaps you have lived with arthritis for a long time and feel dissatisfied with the care you receive from your regular doctor or rheumatologist. It is your health and you have the right to switch practitioners for any reason. We discuss some of the most common ones below.
Bedside Manner Matters
Living with chronic joint pain is never easy. It can be even more challenging when you see a doctor or rheumatologist who seems to have little empathy and frequently dismisses your concerns. The practice of medicine goes beyond the technical understanding of the body. It is equally important to find a rheumatologist you feel comfortable with and who exudes confidence in their knowledge. Remember that you will likely see this person for regular appointments over many years. It is essential that you feel comfortable with their personality as well as knowledge.
Ease of Communication
Sometimes you need to ask your provider an important question outside of your regular appointments. Does your current rheumatologist set aside time each day to answer patient voicemails and emails? Is the office open hours that are convenient for your schedule? If not, it may be time to make a change. Good communication is imperative with any doctor, but it is critical when you manage a condition that produces chronic pain and inflammation. Poor communication could also include a doctor or rheumatologist who uses terms you do not understand and makes no effort to explain them to you.
Another Professional Medical Opinion
Perhaps you have not yet received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, but you are certain that you have it. Your current doctor might not have taken your concerns seriously enough to investigate further or provide you with a formal diagnosis. It is also possible that you received a misdiagnosis or suspect that you did. In either situation, it is worth your time to get a second opinion from a new practitioner.
Feeling Like You Never Have Enough Time
Your health is important to you and should be important to your medical provider too. You should never feel like you have to rush through your questions or like your doctor is not listening to you. The latter can happen after you have been a patient for a while and still need to repeat your symptoms and situation at each visit. Feeling relaxed and respected is an important part of any healthcare relationship.
Seeking a New Direction
Sometimes you simply need a rheumatologist who is more proactive and aggressive at helping you obtain the treatments you need. You are your own best advocate and will know when that time has come. The Arthritis Center of Lexington would be happy to be your next provider. Contact your family doctor to obtain a referral if you are interested in switching rheumatologists.