6. You don't feel comfortable with him, or wonder about his competence. Doctors need to know intimate details you may not even share with friends or family members. If you're unable to disclose such facts, you and your doctor may not be the right match. A sense of unease about his decisions and recommendations, even if you can't say exactly why, is also a perfectly legitimate reason for cutting the cord, says Don Powell, president of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, a nonprofit that promotes healthy behavior through wellness programs and publications. Beware of sloppy medical mistakes, too: If your doctor prescribes a medication to which you're allergic, and you know that information is in your history, a separation may be in order.
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.
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.
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.' "