Imagine all the money that could be saved and time not wasted if chronic patients were able to interview doctors before paying for an appointment.
How many times have you had an appointment with a new doctor only to have them ignore, dismiss, or laugh at your symptoms and concerns?
When dealing with chronic abdominal pain, I wasted thousands of dollars and countless hours of my time going from one doctor to the next in hopes of one of them finding the source of my pain.
It took two years after my hysterectomy to find a surgeon who was not just willing to treat me, but to believe that there was something really wrong with me.
In the end, it was the 21st surgeon I saw who did just that and he discovered that the surgeon who performed my hysterectomy botched it big time.
That period of my life was more than physically painful, it was financially and emotionally devastating.
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What if we could interview doctors?
I often wonder if my pain and suffering would have ended sooner if I could have had the opportunity to interview the surgeons I saw before scheduling an appointment.
I wouldn’t have had to go days without pain medication in order to drive to their offices only to be told my pain was in my head.
The money wasted on each visit could have gone towards things to make living with the horrific pain that I was in a little easier, like having someone do basic cleaning, having my groceries delivered, or even drive me to appointments. My husband couldn’t take on everything. Someone had to work to provide for our family and pay for our health insurance.
Most importantly, I wouldn’t have been made to feel like I was losing my mind. It truly is amazing that I didn’t harm myself.
Imagine seeing one highly recommended surgeon after the next and then have each one refuse to examine you. All because the minute they saw your chronic illnesses listed on your chart. They then use them to explain your pain, even though the pain was in no way related to fibromyalgia, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. To have them say that there is no way that endometriosis is to blame because you had a hysterectomy. To not even consider that an error could have occurred during surgery.
Q & A
What occurred during that time period mentioned above is just one example of how my time, money, and energy was wasted by doctors who didn’t understand my chronic illnesses or weren’t willing to address pain that wasn’t easily explained.
The following is what I would ask if given the opportunity to interview a doctor before scheduling an appointment.
- What is your experience with treating patients with chronic pain?
- How many fibromyalgia patients have you treated and how much do you know about this particular chronic illness? (This question would then be repeated with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and endometriosis.)
- Are you willing to treat pain before and/or after a diagnosis?
- What does pain management mean to you?
- How far are you willing to go in order to find the source of a patient’s pain or symptoms?
- What is your opinion on alternative therapies and treatments?
- Tell me why I should choose you to find the source of my pain or to treat my chronic illness?
These are just a few of my questions. I would love to hear what you would ask!
What would you ask?
What would sell you on a doctor and what would prompt you to continue shopping?
How would this work?
To make it easier on us, the patient in pain, I feel that a video or phone call would be best.
I do not trust online review sites as many are paid for by doctors and insurance companies.
With that said, if anyone knows of a patient only review of doctors and hospitals that is not funded in any amount by doctors and insurance companies, I would love to hear about it.
3 thoughts on “What if We Could Interview Doctors Before Scheduling an Appointment?”
What an outstanding idea Cynthia! Although I’ve been extremely fortunate in finding outstanding doctors (or while I was in the military, being assigned excellent doctors – minus a few exceptions), it would be wonderful to schedule video appointments to interview them prior to being seen. Your list of questions is a great start toward making sure our doctors will give us the care we need.
I completely know how you feel. I just had a hysterectomy. The dr convinced me to leave my ovaries since I’m only 45. It has been 3 months and I’m still not fully healed (I also have fibro and endo). Now I’ve found out I have cysts on my ovaries. They say that’s why I’m still in pain. The doctor also saw that the endometriosis has spread to my bladder and rectum area. I am discouraged because I know my fight isn’t over. I know my pain will not ease.
I love your questions and I hope someday choosing a doctor is made easier for us.
Hugs! The same happened to my sister, that’s why I insisted he take mine but didn’t really matter because he left an infected portion of my fallopian tube and a boatload of ovarian remnants. Don’t give up fighting for relief and hang tough when they try to dismiss your pain. I’m here if you ever need to talk.