Why Don’t Doctors Listen to Their Patients?

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Illnesses happen to everyone—often when we least expect it. Even for healthy individuals, regular checkups with physicians are recommended. However, patients often feel as though their concerns are ignored by doctors.

Too often, people find themselves wondering why their doctors don’t listen to them. Here are some possible reasons.

They Don’t Have Enough Time

Doctors are extremely busy. Between the other patients they must see and the paperwork that’s piling up, they find themselves short on time. As such, according to CMAJ, you may find that your doctor doesn’t have the time to sit down and catch up with you.

It’s not necessarily something physicians mean to do; their schedules are just packed before their days even start. However, you can help your doctor make time for you. For example, you could prepare your concerns while you’re waiting to be called back so that you can stay on track during your appointment.

Additionally, you could try writing down everything you want to discuss before your visit. By jotting down your talking points, you and your doctor can get right to the point when you come in.

They’re Biased

Whether patients realize it, doctors are people too; they have the same thoughts and feelings everyone else does.  According to Salud America, many physicians enter the room having already formed an opinion on the patient.

Research has concluded that many doctors don’t validate complaints of pain from female patients; they take the complaints from men seriously, though. Overweight patients often feel judged, too.

African American patients are sometimes treated differently than patients of other races, as well. If you feel as though your doctor is judging you or just not listening, tell them. If there’s no improvement, you can file a complaint and find a new doctor. You are your own best advocate, and you deserve to be treated with respect.

They Don’t Want to Be Sued

According to Legally Mine Reviews, more than one in three physicians has had a medical liability lawsuit filed against them at some point in their careers. Physicians have to be careful when considering how to provide the best care for you.

In short, they don’t want to perform a risky procedure or treatment that you may regret and seek legal compensation for. It’s never fair to sue a doctor for having your best interests at heart, but miscommunication makes these things happen.

If you ever feel as though you’re being treated less than stellar, always seek a second opinion.

The doctor-patient relationship can be a strong one. Never settle for a doctor you don’t mesh with. If your provider doesn’t listen, find a new one. Your healthcare is important, so it’s vital that you do all you can to find a doctor that best suits your needs.

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