What to Do When A Doctor Can’t Help You

What to Do When A Doctor Can't Help You

When you go to the doctor, you expect to get results, you expect to tell them your symptoms, you expect to tell them how you feel and you expect a diagnosis. More often than not, the doctor knows the common diseases based on the factors and the symptoms that you give them. But if your current condition is not common in your particular age group or lifestyle, doctors may not manage to diagnose you.

Sometimes a doctor will refer you out to another specialist who they think might help and as patients, we want to put a label on the current condition, but doctors aren’t always able to make that possible. Doctors have medical malpractice insurance to cover them when something goes wrong, but ideally you want to get to the bottom of the problem before you have to go down that route. So what do you have to do? Let’s take a look at what you can do when a doctor cannot help you.

  1. You could wait it out. If your doctor has had a few consults with you and they are still unable to give you a final diagnosis, it may be worth waiting until you have all of the lab and imaging results available to your doctor before they can make a definitive assumption that they don’t know how to help. If your symptoms aren’t too serious and you can, then waiting it out can help.
  2. Acknowledge the stress and anxiety behind the condition. Some doctors will put any condition down to stress or anxiety, and that can sometimes be the case. You might think it’s not the case, and it might make you look for other possible reasons that you’re feeling this way, but sometimes it really can just be down to anxiety. You can still push for a second opinion however if that’s not something you’re confident of.
  3. Get a second opinion. You can reach out to another doctor for another opinion if you want to. All doctors have gone through the same medical training, but some doctors have different expertise compared to others. That means that their experience when it comes to diseases still does differ. A surgeon, for example, would have seen many more cases of tumors as opposed to a medical intern. A family medicine doctor may be more skilled in diagnosing patients or a physical exam, whereas A psychologist or a mental health physician may be better in helping you with anything going on in your head.
  4. Make sure that you’re explaining it properly. If you don’t already know, Doctors cannot mind read. They rely on what you have to say to come up with the diagnosis. So if you’re skipping any details or trying to minimize your condition, the doctor may have a very hard time arriving at the right diagnosis. When you consult with the doctor, use this as an opportunity to tell your story. Don’t leave out any other details because these could be helpful later on.

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