You’ve just seen your doctor, and despite your best efforts, the visit did not go well.
What should you do next? If it was the first time you’ve felt short-changed, you should give your doctor the benefit of the doubt, says Larry Mauksch, a family counselor at the University of Washington in Seattle who studies doctor-patient communication. Everyone has off days now and again.
“Give a doctor a few visits,” says Mauksch. “But if you continue to feel like your needs are not being met, then it may be time to make a change.”
When you’ve had enough, resist the urge to storm out the door never to be seen or heard from again, Mauksh says. Instead, go home, collect your thoughts and then place a call to the director of the medical clinic or practice where your doctor works.
Doctor’s offices are businesses, and just like any other kind of business, they don’t prosper if their customers aren’t happy. It’s usually the clinic director’s job to make sure that customers, or patients, leave satisfied with their care. In recent years, Mauksch says, more practices have begun to monitor complaints, and they will often take steps to remedy repeated problems.
“I think it’s very important to give physicians feedback about why you wouldn’t come back,” he says.
As soon as possible after you’ve left, request a copy of your medical records so that you can take them with you when you see your new doctor.