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Not great Rapport with Doc

markatger's picture
markatger
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi again,

I always seem to post in twos. I had 3rd chemo today. I saw the Oncologists for about 10 minutes. I have pretty good confidence that he is very competent. But....I don't click with him at all. He doesn't seem to have the patience at all to answer my questions. This is my 3rd Chemo appt and each time I see him it has been for 10 minutes or less. I feel like I'm being rushed and the he is rushing out of the room.

One thing I do like about him, is that during my intial appt (which was the longest @ 45 min), he was open to listening to my concerns about tweaking a treatment plan that the surgeon had presented to me. He adjusted the plan to start treating my liver met aggresively right away. So I did like that he listened to me at that point.

But now, I'm not sure anymore. I originally wanted to choose a different Doc, but he was on vacation when I was diagnosed. I also don't know if I would have the same confidence techinically in the different Doc even though I may click with the different Doc better. I don't want to switch and then regret it.

I don't really have the option to change hospitals because of insurance, but I probably could change within hopsitals to this other Doc, I was originally interested. This seems like it would be awkward to tell my current Doc I didn't like him and that I wanted to change to his colleague in same hospital!

Just considering it, and wondering if anyone has done this.

Sweet Dreams,
Maria

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hey,, Maria
I'm replying to both of your postings; I had a problem with my onc.....I didn't really "click" either. His credentials are from here to the moon - but he was really annoying me. I had three appts where he would look at his watch and say.."gotta go".....OMG, I wa so angry; but he has improved - and more importantly, his Nurse Practitioner is really awesome....I see her more. Would your doc have a great NP or nurse that you could speak with? It might really help you...and you could also explain your frustration to her/him about the doc.....Just a thought.

Cheers,
Maura

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

This is a commonn problem in all areas of medicine. There is a need for you to weigh up how important your confidence in his technical skill is against how good he is at teh doctor- patient relationship thing. Both are important but different patients have different needs. I accepted my surgeon was a antisocial arrogant pain in the arse at times but I needed himas he was teh best surgeon around so that outweighed my need to 'click' with him.
Perhaps you can jsut use your doc for his technical skill and get your answers and psychological support from elsewherre eg his nurses or support team.
There is no easy answer to this and really boils down to a personal decision. Let us know what you decide,
Steve

madu
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2005

Can't hurt to get a second opinion from another onc. This way you can see if you click and/or feel comfortable with their technical confidence. My onc is wonderful, answers all my questions and spends whatever time I want with him - His partner on the other hand is a glad-hander, authoritarian "I'm in charge so don't bother me with your questions" type but there are people who swear by him. I guess it just depends on what you want but it just can't hurt (except in co-pay of course) to see what else it out there if you're not sure.

Heidi

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Maria,
I understand your dilemma. My PCP referred me to one of the senior docs in the onc practice, but I found his style hard to take. After the lengthy initial appt, he was barely in the room long enough to tell me that I was doing great. His hearty greetings seemed designed to cut off dialogue; it felt like he was a great cheerleader, but that's not what I was looking for; I'm always full of questions. While his NP was great, I just didn't like the whole experience. I ended up switching to another onc in the practice and went to a "branch office" of the group. Everything there felt better; my next onc is always eager to discuss my questions, quote the research, etc; felt like a better fit for me; it's so hard to know which way to go; good luck with your decision. Judy

markatger's picture
markatger
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Thanks for all the opinions and experiences. You guys are the best.... : )

Maria

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Maria: Imagine if you will, being that Onc, and having a caseload of 1000 patients..it's impossible to give adequate attention, so they start hiring PAs, Assistants, Nurses, etc. to "Listen" to the patients. Go into your appointments with a list of questions, and either a note pad or a tape recorder. Better yet, take a
good friend to your appointment and have them observe and give you feedback. The doctor should not object to this; if he does, demand his attention or another doctor.. but, if in your informed opinion, he is competent, then tough it
out and find someone else in the office who will
listen and communicate your needs to him. There's nothing worse than to have a life-threatening disease, and a Dr./patient impasse such as you describe. Be as impatient as he is.. Nanuk

bsrules
Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004

Marie,

Hello!!!! I know only to well how you are feeling!!!! I ran into the exact same thing with Bob's Dr. We had to get an appointment right away when Bob was diag. and ours was off and so we picked one that was available. The first appointment went fine. Bob then had the surgery and then we had to start to set up treatments. After a few I was getting more and more upset and so was Bob as our questions weren't being answered and I was being told that I had to wait outside and so on. Well, I snapped!!!!! When we went in the next day I say his Dr. and asked him for a few minutes of his time since I was going to be there for 3 hours. I layed everything on the table. I told him point blank that I felt that since his cancer was so advanced that everyone is thinking that he was a lost cause.I told him that Bob is fighting this with everything that he has to survive. I didn't like being pushed away as if I didn't excite. I also told him that I felt that he was rushing through our appointments to get onto another patient. I told him that I understood that he was very busy but I said that we are talking about saving Bob's life. That he deserved his full attention and if we had questions to please take the time and answer them. After I was done His Dr. apologized for the treatment that he thought that he was getting. He didn't realize what was happening outside the room along with his treatment. After that meeting with him it was like turning on a light bulb. Things changed totally!!!!!

I am just trying to say that if you feel this way tell your Dr.!!!!!!! It made a BIG difference with us!!!! If your Dr. still reacts the same way and you feel the same way then definitily changed Dr.'s You need EVERYONE involved on you side!!!!! Don't just put up with it because he is good at what he does. Bob's Dr. was very good and I jsut had to open his eyes up to what was happening.

Sorry I went on!!!! I just had to tell you what happened with us.

Best Wishes and Prayers Your Way!!!

Love

Sue

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