What To Do When You’re Feeling Dismissed And Ignored By Your Physician

In theory, doctors should listen to their patients carefully and take their concerns seriously. Needless to say, that’s not always how things happen in practice. Although most doctors will do everything in their power to provide their patients with amazing care, some will dismiss patients’ symptoms, and refuse to discuss an alternative diagnosis. Instead of listening to what their patients are experiencing and further investigating the issue, they’ll try to convince them they have nothing to worry about because they’re the experts and they know better.


However, the truth is that as well-intentioned and well-prepared physicians may be, they’re still just human and prone to mistakes as everyone else. No one knows your body better than you do, so if you feel there’s something wrong with you it’s probably because there is, despite your doctor’s reassurance.

It can be extremely frustrating when your doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously, minimising or ignoring your problem. It can also be extremely dangerous because they can overlook very important health issues or misdiagnose you, and that can have serious health consequences. Resources such as https://www.medicalnegligencelaw.org.uk provide further information on the steps you can take if you’ve been a victim of medical negligence.

You shouldn’t have to struggle to get safe and effective treatment from your doctor, but unfortunately, the medical system is far from perfect and sometimes you have to become your own health advocate. Keep in mind that doctors are often overwhelmed by tons of paperwork and they have very limited time on their hands to assess each patient, and that can also impair their efforts to properly communicate and connect with their patients.

Fortunately, you’re not powerless. There are certain strategies you can use to improve your relationship with your doctor and get them to listen to you. Here’s what you can do.

Take matters into your own hands

First of all, you have to stop feeling like a helpless victim and become your own health advocate. While doctors can provide the quality care you require, you also have to take action and get actively involved in your own health journey. Being passive and waiting for things to get better on their own will only deepen your frustration and problems.

Your physician may not have the necessary time to go over your entire medical history, so you can step in and get them up to speed with the health problems you’ve experienced over the years and the treatments you’ve taken or are currently taking. Make sure your doctor has access to relevant information regarding your health and keep them updated at all times.

Talk to your physician openly

You should think of your doctor as your confidant – a person you can talk to about your problems openly without fear of being judged or misunderstood. All the information that you share with our doctor is confidential, so no one but you two will have access to it.

When your doctor asks you how you feel, you have to be as honest as possible and provide accurate answers, without hiding or sugar-coating the truth. Your physician can’t help you if you leave things out of the picture, intentionally or not. They need all the pieces of the puzzle to accurately asses your health condition and provide the care you require.

Bring someone with you

If you’re having difficulties communicating with your physician and establishing a good doctor-patient relationship, bringing an extra set of eyes and ears to your appointments, be it a family member or a friend, can make a difference. It may seem strange to have a chaperone with you as a grow-up but their presence can be very useful.

First of all, your doctor may change their attitude when they see you’ve brought reinforcement and finally start taking your concerns seriously. Secondly, the other person can provide an objective perspective on what’s happening during the appointment, so they can either confirm or infirm that your doctor is not doing their job properly. Also, it’s good to have someone else with you because they can take notes during the visit and help you process the information you receive from your doctor.

Come prepared

It’s recommended to write down the things you want to communicate to your doctor and the questions you want to ask before you step into their office. During the appointment, you’ll be under the pressure of time and you may forget important details or have trouble gathering your thoughts and formulating your ideas. You might end up giving your doctor only crumbs of information that instead of clarifying things can cause more confusion.

It's a good idea to track your symptoms day by day and write them down in a journal. That way, when you go to your appointment, you’ll have all the information in front of you, so you’ll know exactly what to say and make the most of the time you spend in the doctor’s office.

Look for a new doctor

If your doctor insists there’s nothing wrong with you and the diagnosis you’ve received is the right one, you are in your right to ask for a second opinion. In fact, you can seek as many opinions as you want until you’re finally satisfied with the outcome.

Also, if you think you’ve tried everything to get your physician to listen to you and your relationship still doesn’t show signs of improving, it may be time to look for a different provider who can treat you right. You don’t have to stick with the same doctor just because you’ve been seeing them for years. You have options, and when you have exhausted all attempts at making things better, you should start exploring them.

Patients and doctors should work together as a team, so you have to find yourself a physician that you can connect with and who’s ready to be by your side every step of your health journey.

*Collaborative post

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