How do you deal with stubborn doctors?

Posted by learningstudent @learningstudent, Oct 5 7:15pm

I am just wonder how you guys deal with stubborn doctors who cannot diagnose your symptoms and keep saying you have anxiety disorder and that is what causes all the symptoms you have?

I have been dealing with these doctors, two of whom are family doctors and one of them is from uw medicine and another whom I have been seeing for a year and who does not really care about my health issues. I know they judge our health issues based on reports of test results and reports of other doctors or specialists. But what about sometimes the reports they wrote are not accurate and some of the test results present mild symptoms? This is what happens to me, because some of the visit summaries or notes or reports they wrote are not accurate, which is not something I said and discussed with them and I talked to them and asked them to fix and they will not. Also most of the results are negative but some work-ups are positive? How do they judge you that you have anxiety? This is so frustrating because that will affect any future diagnosis from other specialists cuz we know that sometimes our health issues are not caused by anxiety or mental issues.

Liked by lucky1038

You get a new doctor! You have to be your own patient advocate and keep good records of all the tests you get done. Before they had all of this electronically I maintained a file called "Patient's perspective". This was helpful because a summary is sent to your new physician which does not have all the details of your history. Doctors are people. So it is important to get a referral from friends or colleagues or others with a similar condition. Once you get the referral its like anything else. You research them thoroughly. And find a doctor you can communicate with easily. As you get older you find that talking to your doctor is like talking to a friend. Try to relate to them as you would with anybody else. And relax! Prepare for your visit with a list of questions. Even if you are not anxious by nature, it is easy to forget something important to you. The doctors appreciate your preparation and will be happy to answer your question. I have had to change my doctors at various stages of life. It's okay. All the best!

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Hello @learningstudent. You will notice that I added a little to the title of your discussion to hopefully bring more members into the discussion. I have been lucky for the most part to have doctors that I am able to communicate well with but I have had a few that were a little arrogant. Since you probably aren't going to be able to change the doctor, I think it boils down to a choice on your part. Either you learn how to work with the doctor and work around any issues you have with them, or you find another doctor.

Here's a great article that provides some tips and information on how to develop a working relationship with your doctor. It also link with steps for finding a new doctor.

How to Deal With an Arrogant Doctor: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-deal-with-an-arrogant-doctor-2615003

Another great resource is Dr. Victor Montori's website The Patient Revolution – https://patientrevolution.org/. The Tools For the Visit section has some great tips for planning your conversation with the doctor – https://patientrevolution.org/visit-tools.

As patients, I think we know ourselves and how we feel better than the doctor but it's sometimes difficult for us to communicate effectively with the doctor. Do you think your doctor may be willing to work with you on better communications if you try?

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@johnbishop

Hello @learningstudent. You will notice that I added a little to the title of your discussion to hopefully bring more members into the discussion. I have been lucky for the most part to have doctors that I am able to communicate well with but I have had a few that were a little arrogant. Since you probably aren't going to be able to change the doctor, I think it boils down to a choice on your part. Either you learn how to work with the doctor and work around any issues you have with them, or you find another doctor.

Here's a great article that provides some tips and information on how to develop a working relationship with your doctor. It also link with steps for finding a new doctor.

How to Deal With an Arrogant Doctor: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-deal-with-an-arrogant-doctor-2615003

Another great resource is Dr. Victor Montori's website The Patient Revolution – https://patientrevolution.org/. The Tools For the Visit section has some great tips for planning your conversation with the doctor – https://patientrevolution.org/visit-tools.

As patients, I think we know ourselves and how we feel better than the doctor but it's sometimes difficult for us to communicate effectively with the doctor. Do you think your doctor may be willing to work with you on better communications if you try?

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The problem is that the anxiety things are already on the reports, which will affect other doctors’s diagnosis or opinions and since we need a referral from our primary doctors and there is no way to get the second opinion without the primary doctors’ referral. This is what I do not like. I have gastroparesis and the GI doctor told me that the cause might be due to vagal nerve damage or disorder and not function properly and it is what controls the stomach muscle but the female doctor whom I saw first disagreed with it and blame everything on anxiety.

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@learningstudent

The problem is that the anxiety things are already on the reports, which will affect other doctors’s diagnosis or opinions and since we need a referral from our primary doctors and there is no way to get the second opinion without the primary doctors’ referral. This is what I do not like. I have gastroparesis and the GI doctor told me that the cause might be due to vagal nerve damage or disorder and not function properly and it is what controls the stomach muscle but the female doctor whom I saw first disagreed with it and blame everything on anxiety.

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@learningstudent Call your insurance and ask for a new PCP if your not happy with your Dr You have the right to request a new Dr. A new Dr should listen to you and will evaluate you at this time after you explain why you requested a new PCP

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hi – some of the nondoctors today get away with doing little or nothing. and there's no one who checks upon them. IMHO they just go by whatever the "standards in the community" are. Their object is to get patients in and out as fast as possible, send the bill for the highest level of care they can get away with. it's Profit before Patients. IMHO you've got to educate yourself, get a dr who is a partner with you, get rid of any dr who is an In and Out dr.

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@learningstudent

The problem is that the anxiety things are already on the reports, which will affect other doctors’s diagnosis or opinions and since we need a referral from our primary doctors and there is no way to get the second opinion without the primary doctors’ referral. This is what I do not like. I have gastroparesis and the GI doctor told me that the cause might be due to vagal nerve damage or disorder and not function properly and it is what controls the stomach muscle but the female doctor whom I saw first disagreed with it and blame everything on anxiety.

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@learningstudent Doctors often don't take the time to read prior reports. You don't have to bring up any of it when you see a new specialist, and it actually is in your favor that 2 doctors disagree on the cause of your issues since you don't agree with them. Often their reports might suggest something, but that doesn't prove it. For proof, they need tests that document results. I know it feels bad to have them say things about you and if you don't get copies of your records you may never know. This also lets you know what they are thinking. I was in need of spine surgery and was afraid of surgery which made my blood pressure go up a lot just by going to see a specialist. He wrote that I needed to see a psychiatrist on my records without telling me which upset me, but then I also knew that I didn't want him for my surgeon. He was the one who started the fear by telling me I had significant spinal cord compression and he was pushy that I needed surgery. It could have been a lot different if he had been compassionate and understanding. I did face my fears and I did just fine and I never saw a psychiatrist or took drugs to ease my fears. He was wrong too because he didn't understand that my leg pain and dizziness was connected to spinal cord compression in my neck. He backed out and told me to fix that first with a rehab doctor and then come back to him for spine surgery. I went elsewhere and I'm glad I did. I needed to face my fears of surgery and he made me realize how much I needed to do my own homework on that. You do have to advocate for yourself and ask questions why your doctor thinks what they think about your health. They should be able to explain their position. They are human and make mistakes too.

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My first rule is look within. That is, whenever I find myself looking outside to define a problem I realize that the first problem starts with me. For example, I had a friend who was heading toward his fourth marriage and I asked him why he thought he was at #4. He responded that women are difficult to live with. I then asked him how difficult he was to live with as the common denominator in all the previous failed marriages was him. Now that does not mean that you are passive in any relationship. I would wager that my doctors at Mayo consider me borderline difficult because I come to every appointment prepared, armed with questions, and willing to listen. I do not let them off the hook precisely because I have not let myself off the hook first.
Best always,
s!
Scott Jensen

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What makes things worse is the fact that most of the test results are negative or just show some mild problems which they deemed won’t cause the problem I have and then when I asked them questions they said they did not know. They just said the test results are normal but the health issues I have are still there and then one of the doctors brought up anxiety and listed that on the reports and other doctors read those reports and then read the results and trying to diagnose based on those. I have been going to UW medicine and they have everything under one roof. One of the doctors did not really take the time to listen to me or he might not have been able to catch up and he just made things up based on what he remembers and even something I never said.

I have never argued with them. Whenever they explained things to me I always listened unless they asked me questions.

When I go to see another doctor I would like to have like a clean slate but now the patients medical records are electronic-based which are stored in Epic so they could be accessed everywhere.

Even the patients do not have anxiety and based on the reports they write, I think the patients will eventually become real anxious and that means the anxiety is not caused by health issues but by the doctors.

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First off, I'm sorry to hear your dealing with it. It can be very frustrating when you know how you feel and they try to tell you that there is no way that your feeling that way. Just have to keep pushing the issues, whether it's with your current doc or finding another. Like others said, just don't mention what the other doctor thinks. Tell them what you know to be true to you and let them come to their own conclusion. Can even mention that you don't agree with the pervious one and thats why you sought them out. I have had limited time with that issue. My previous doc kept telling me after my second heart attack in 6 months time that I was fine and that it's normal to feel like another is coming on. After about a month of that and then his next answer being "your fine, i'll see you again in 6 months." I went the next day and sought out a new one. Low and behold he was like no it's not normal. He scheduled an appointment for a week later to go in and look, i beat him to it though by 3 days later getting a helicopter ride from my local er to their sister hospital in Milwaukee having my 3rd only a few months after the second. My current issue is slightly different but under the same category though. I keep having what feels like mini heart attacks and he kinda brushes it off. A few ER trips have had a few overnights but at the end they can't really figure out why. The last they figured out that something was off cause I have now made it into heart failure. The ER docs suggested I look into going to Mayo at least for a second opinion (or at least a first since my doc doesn't have much to say about how i got here and why). So i go through all the work of getting an appointment setup and they tell him all he has to do is send a referral so the insurance will cover it. My next appointment with him before the Mayo trip he asks when i'm suposed to go and asks to get copies of everything. 3 days into the trip Mayo tells me he never sent in a referral so until they get one they will have to cancel my pending appointments. But that they did fax something to him the day before asking again and hadn't heard back. I get a call shortly after the 6 hour drive home from his nurse saying that he never sent one to them cause he "had" sent one to the sister hospital in Milwaukee for me to go to their advanced heart failure clinic instead. Which made no sense to me. So i left a message on how this process works so i can go to this other one. 2 days later they send me a message through their online thing that says that they sent the referral again and to expect a call. Now almost a week after having to leave Mayo i still have not gotten a call or have anymore info on going to this other one. From what seems to me falls under an issue of pride. Like no i'm not going to let you go to Mayo, we can figure this out when they haven't done so well on that front so far and without a referral from him theres no way around it unless i want to pay out of pocket (which isn't even an option). And i know if i find a new doc they aren't going to give me a referral first visit and want to try to work the issue. So i'm stuck in a hard place cause of a doctors pride. Have an appointment with him in the morning so hopefully he will have a better answer about this clinic of theirs other then wait for them to call whenever they get around to it.

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@shawnb2020

First off, I'm sorry to hear your dealing with it. It can be very frustrating when you know how you feel and they try to tell you that there is no way that your feeling that way. Just have to keep pushing the issues, whether it's with your current doc or finding another. Like others said, just don't mention what the other doctor thinks. Tell them what you know to be true to you and let them come to their own conclusion. Can even mention that you don't agree with the pervious one and thats why you sought them out. I have had limited time with that issue. My previous doc kept telling me after my second heart attack in 6 months time that I was fine and that it's normal to feel like another is coming on. After about a month of that and then his next answer being "your fine, i'll see you again in 6 months." I went the next day and sought out a new one. Low and behold he was like no it's not normal. He scheduled an appointment for a week later to go in and look, i beat him to it though by 3 days later getting a helicopter ride from my local er to their sister hospital in Milwaukee having my 3rd only a few months after the second. My current issue is slightly different but under the same category though. I keep having what feels like mini heart attacks and he kinda brushes it off. A few ER trips have had a few overnights but at the end they can't really figure out why. The last they figured out that something was off cause I have now made it into heart failure. The ER docs suggested I look into going to Mayo at least for a second opinion (or at least a first since my doc doesn't have much to say about how i got here and why). So i go through all the work of getting an appointment setup and they tell him all he has to do is send a referral so the insurance will cover it. My next appointment with him before the Mayo trip he asks when i'm suposed to go and asks to get copies of everything. 3 days into the trip Mayo tells me he never sent in a referral so until they get one they will have to cancel my pending appointments. But that they did fax something to him the day before asking again and hadn't heard back. I get a call shortly after the 6 hour drive home from his nurse saying that he never sent one to them cause he "had" sent one to the sister hospital in Milwaukee for me to go to their advanced heart failure clinic instead. Which made no sense to me. So i left a message on how this process works so i can go to this other one. 2 days later they send me a message through their online thing that says that they sent the referral again and to expect a call. Now almost a week after having to leave Mayo i still have not gotten a call or have anymore info on going to this other one. From what seems to me falls under an issue of pride. Like no i'm not going to let you go to Mayo, we can figure this out when they haven't done so well on that front so far and without a referral from him theres no way around it unless i want to pay out of pocket (which isn't even an option). And i know if i find a new doc they aren't going to give me a referral first visit and want to try to work the issue. So i'm stuck in a hard place cause of a doctors pride. Have an appointment with him in the morning so hopefully he will have a better answer about this clinic of theirs other then wait for them to call whenever they get around to it.

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@shawnb2020 I am sorry you are having so much difficulty. You should call your insurance company tomorrow. Your doctor has to answer to them. Explain the situation and that you were supposed to get a referral to Mayo and that your doctor screwed up. Do you have a POS or an HMO plan? I have heard that to stay profitable doctors are rewarded for not referring patients to specialists with HMO plans. It isn't right, but it is the game they play and they try to keep it within the same company. That is why it is better to have a plan where you don't need a referral. Patients can self refer to Mayo if their insurance allows and I did. It's hard enough to be a patient who needs medical help without all the games. Insurance companies rate doctors and they know who the good ones are. If you don't get anywhere calling your insurance, you can call your state's insurance board. You can also complain to a state medical board about a physician. At least look and see if this doctor has any disciplinary action against them. You'll also need to demand that copies of referrals and records are sent to you at your request because they can't be trusted to follow through when asked and you have a right to your records. If this is too upsetting, have a family member advocate for you. I wouldn't assume a new doctor won't give you a referral. You don't really know that for sure, and you need a different opinion because this doctor is not helping and may even be harming you by increasing your stress. Say that to your insurance company. It should make them worry since this is about your heart health. If you don't get anywhere with your insurance company, asking a new doctor for help sounds like a good idea. You probably need copies of your tests and records for that, so ask for them if you don't have them. I've been through some difficulty with 5 spine surgeons who refused to help me because they didn't understand my symptoms. I figured out what they missed and came to Mayo which was the right choice. When I needed surgery on a broken ankle recently, I came back. You need to insist on a different specialist and ask to go to Mayo. Ask your insurance company how they mediate disputes when the patient is not being helped and ask for supervisors. A lot of insurance centers are staffed by people without college degrees and they might even be getting bonuses for denying claims. That starts a process of having to re-apply for benefits and wastes time, and that means the insurance can put off paying the claim for a coupe months while their cash is invested and earning profits. It just wastes your time. My physical therapist explained this game to me.

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