9 Signs You Should Fire Your Doctor

A doctor you're unhappy with could be bad for your health. Here's how to know when to look elsewhere.

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7. He doesn't coordinate with other doctors. Your primary care physician should be the quarterback of your healthcare team, managing each step of the medical process. That means keeping track of specialists' reports and instructions and talking with you about their recommendations. If he's slacking, an important piece of your care could slip through the cracks.

[Your Primary Care Team Will See You Now]

8. He's unreachable. A good doctor is available for follow-up questions and concerns. Patient advocate Trisha Torrey, author of You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes, recalls the time her husband developed severe tooth pain on a weekend. His dentist's voicemail included a cell phone number and a promise of a quick response, but he never heard back. An emergency clinic visit and root canal later, he told his dentist she was fired. A growing number of doctors are making themselves available to patients via E-mail, text message, and Skype, and at the very least, you need to know that in an emergency, you won't be left hanging.

[Doctor-Patient E-Mails Are a Healthy Addition, Research Shows]

9. He's rude or condescending. Time to part ways. Same goes if he trivializes your concerns as though they're not valid. One of the clearest signs you should move on is if he walks out of the room while you're still talking, says Clancy. That's what happened when her sister met with a surgeon to determine if her daughter should go through with a procedure. "When my sister finished asking her question, the doctor was gone," Clancy recalls. "She called me afterward and I told her, 'You have to find someone else. You'll regret it if you don't.' "


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doctors
patients
patient safety
medical quality