Is the Doctor In?

With the ever-changing insurance landscape, many patients are frustrated to learn their provider of choice is no longer in-network. The challenge then begins to find the right doctor that best suits that patient’s needs.

GENDER BIAS

Finding a good doctor can be difficult, especially for women. Healthcare has a long history of gender bias, and it’s wreaking havoc on women’s health. According to a recent article in the New York Times, “ If you are a woman older than 50 who is critically ill, you are at particular risk of failing to receive lifesaving interventions. If you have knee pain, you are less likely to be referred for a knee replacement than a man, and if you have heart failure, it may take longer to get EKGs.” Women need to be their own staunch advocate when searching for the right treatment and the right provider for them. Not asking questions can be the difference between life and death.

DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS

Doctors are taught in medical school that 95 percent of a diagnosis is from a patient’s history, but too many have come to rely on labs instead of common sense and clinical know-how. Today, patients often complain (and rightly so) that their provider rushes through the initial consult and doesn’t pay attention or listen to them. GOOD providers know that taking time to listen, ask questions and examine the patient is vital to figuring out the problem. They use labs or other tests to support or refute their clinical diagnosis. Good providers also know that labs are not always accurate, and they understand WHY. They know the right tests to order, and when to delve deeper.

TRUST YOUR GUT

They don’t call it “women’s intuition or sixth sense” for nothing. If your gut is telling something is “off” when meeting with a new provider, it’s telling you that that for a reason! Here are some red flags to look for when interviewing a new provider:

  1. The provider or staff is rude, condescending or apathetic
  2. The provider is in a rush and doesn’t welcome your questions or input
  3. Tells you that you only need more rest, less stress and more exercise
  4. Acts patronizing and makes caustic comments especially when you are expressing what you may have learned through your own research.
  5. Expresses anger or disappointment in your desire to obtain a second opinion or request to send you to a specialist.
  6. Asks the same questions over and over again on multiple visits, appearing to have forgotten or just plain ignored all of your previous concerns.
  7. Upon your request to discuss a different drug or treatment protocol, refuses to do so and won’t explain why.
  8. Doesn’t seem to be current regarding new treatments or protocols.

At DeRosa Medical, our providers are trained to look at the WHOLE picture. Mind, body and soul all play their own respective roles in the healing process. Again as a patient, especially if you are a woman, you must be an advocate for your own health and well-being.

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