Rarely people see the doctor when they are feeling well. Most often, they are uncomfortable or in pain. Illness and injury can cause stress and fear, with hopes a doctor can fix what is wrong. We trust our medical team to care and sympathize with, perhaps even validate, our discomfort.
How often have you gone to the doctor to feel better, but your symptoms were dismissed, diminished, or implied to be unlikely? The trust you had for the care team wasn’t returned and you left feeling more stressed, and possibly worse about your condition.
Often, patients are rushed through the appointment with a list of tests to complete at another time, at another location. Days later, you receive a message that your tests were normal, but they provide no follow up to your ongoing concerns. Doesn’t sound like “care” at all.
Why Don’t Doctors Listen?
There are many reasons doctors can seem inattentive, and these reasons rarely have to do with the patient in front of them. According to a report by KKF Health News, there has been a mass exodus of internal and family medicine doctors causing a shortage in the traditional primary care setting. The doctor you see could have less time to focus on you individually.
Other Reasons Your Doctor Doesn't Listen
Not enough time is given to the doctor for appointments.
- High patient volume means the doctor must keep a breakneck pace to stay on schedule, leaving less time face to face with each person.
COVID fatigue has not let up for the healthcare professions.
- As the workforce shifted, the same changes occurred in the doctor’s office. Understaffing caused heavy burdens on those still providing patient care.
Bias exists in healthcare.
- It is an ugly truth. When doctors do not have the time to get to know each patient as a person, stereotypes can blind physicians to uncharacteristic concerns. Common biases effecting patient care are:
o Agist bias: when young patients are assumed healthy and older patients receive blanket diagnosis without appropriate clinical findings.
o Racial Bias: When people of color and marginalized populations see the doctor for an illness or injury, they are often dismissed due to bias concerning their education level or ability to follow medical advice.
Multitasking during appointments
- Multitasking during appointments can mean the doctor is charting on one of your concerns while the patient brings up another. They no longer sit with a person and really engage them in conversations about their health.
How Can You Get Your Doctor to Listen?
During your annual health exam, it is important to honest with your doctor. This is especially true if you only see your primary care doctor once a year. Here are some tips to ensure you and your physician are on the same page with your health.
· Write down your concerns before the appointment. Make a list with plenty of room to make notes.
· Take notes of solutions, recommendations, or follow ups to your concerns. The doctor could ask you to monitor your symptoms, which could often feel like doing nothing.
· Ask questions if your concerns are not addressed to your satisfaction. Remember, it is YOUR health. If monitoring symptoms truly feels like the doctor is doing nothing to help you, you do have other options.
Primary Care Options
Did you know you do not have to use the doctor your insurance assigned? You can switch doctors within your practice or even go outside of the practice to find a doctor that cares as much about you as a whole person as your overall health.
Consider concierge primary care instead of traditional, brand name clinics for your whole health needs. When you think of what primary care should be—5-minute maximum wait times, relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, a smile and greeting every time you come to visit—Connected Health in Wexford sets the standard.
Not only do your doctors have a smaller patient load (only hundreds versus the thousands seen at traditional primary care) but they genuinely get to know you and your concerns. Someone is available for your health needs 24/7 and you’ll find many services like lab and pharmacy coordinated in one location.
Connected Health, located in Wexford, PA offers concierge primary care that is accessible, personalized, and proactive. Everyone’s healthcare journey is different. Through our personalized approach, we firmly believe that having high-touch, relationship-based medical care saves patients time and money while improving their health.Connected Health is accepting new patients. To schedule a consultation, CONTACT US ONLINE please call 724-933-4305.