I have been to many different doctors, specialists, and medical care facilities in my lifetime. Between myself, my two boys, my daughter with medical complexity, and my aging mother, that makes for a lot of visits!
Looking back on those visits, I often had no idea who the doctor was. I would go to the appointment as if I had blinders on. We were usually sent to the new doctor by our family doctor. A few times, the doctor was recommended by a friend. Honestly, there were many times I would get caught up in the loop.
The "loop” I am referring to is like being in robot mode. I would go to one doctor, they would refer to another. I would go to that one and then follow their orders. I would do this with no questions asked, no second opinions, and knowing none of the options. I wasn’t utilizing the care wisely. I was just trusting the doctor to make all the decisions and following his orders.
I know better now.
Know your rights as a patient. There are always options and there are always choices. You can question the doctor directly, but certainly check in with yourself to see if you agree before just blindly following their orders.
And re-check in with yourself after following their orders: Does this seem to be working? Is it doing what I needed it to do? If not, speak to your doctor again.
There are usually many doctors in one field who you can choose from. I learned this from my daughter and learning to navigate her care. If you believe you did not get the treatment you or your child needed, go back and ask again or get another opinion.
There are many websites that have reviews on all kinds of services. You can look up a doctor by name and read actual patient reviews. Many doctor’s offices have Facebook pages or their own website. You can see services, hours of operation, and staff bios. Sometimes they will have patient reviews, too. This helps me find doctors that best meet my family’s needs before getting to the actual appointment.
Have you explored a patient centered medical home?
When it comes to your child and their medical needs, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Here’s how I think about asking questions in medical settings as a parent of a child with a disability and a nurse.
Categories: Diagnosis & Health Care