What to do when you disagree with you doctor

The relationship that you have with your doctor is built on trust. You need to feel confident that your doctor has you best interests at heart.  However, there may come a time when you disagree with your doctor about a diagnosis or a course of treatment that he or she has recommended for a condition or health issue.

Doctors make their diagnoses on a variety of factors including a physical exam as well as:

  • Symptoms
  • Medical history
  • Risk factors for disease
  • Family history of any diseases or chronic conditions
  • Results of medical tests
  • Medical imaging

But what happens if you’re not happy with your doctor’s diagnosis? Is your doctor not listening to you? Do you feel like you’re asking questions, but you’re not getting answers? Does he or she trivialize your concerns and question their validity? It’s hard to maintain a relationship with your doctor if you don’t believe that he or she is really looking out for your best interests.  

What are your options if you don’t trust that your doctor has provided you with the correct diagnosis or has recommended the right course of treatment?

Before it’s too late

Sometimes the issue between a patient and his or her doctor is the result of clashing personalities, and it’s best to find another provider who is a better fit. Perhaps the issue is one of miscommunication.  Clear and open communication between you and your doctor is essential if you want a relationship that’s built on trust. This is especially true if you’re not happy with a diagnosis or are hesitant to move forward with a recommended course of treatment.

If you disagree with your doctor, there’s no reason that you can’t get a second opinion from another doctor.  This is especially important in cases involving treatment that is toxic, invasive, or lifelong. Your life may depend on it.

A second opinion can do a lot to bring you peace of mind and encourages you to become more of an advocate for yourself. If you’re current physician doesn’t support your decision, it’s time to fire your physician.

While getting that second opinion often confirms the initial diagnosis and treatment plan, getting a conflicting opinion is verification that your concerns were valid ones.

Didn’t get a second opinion?

If you didn’t seek a second opinion concerning a diagnosis and/or treatment plan recommended by your doctor and have been the victim of a medical mistake due to negligence on the part of that doctor, you need to speak to an attorney that specializes in medical malpractice cases and who understands what to look for in your medical records when it comes to proving your case.

Scott S. Harris, medical malpractice attorney, helps victims of medical malpractice throughout California obtain compensation for their injuries. Call to schedule your free consultation.