When to Fire Your Dermatologist
Last updated: June 2022
As a melanoma survivor, my dermatologist is my lifeline. I have had four dermatologists in my life. The first treated my melanoma in California. One died. I moved away from two others. The current one has seen me several times here in New York.
Having a good dermatologist is very important to me
These are important professionals to me. They have the power to save my life by doing a great job or threaten it by doing a poor one. Like any profession, there are good and poor dermatologists. Many are better at some things and others do a great job in different aspects of disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. They are all human and can make errors like all of us. Some I like better than others. Many I would like to keep forever and a few I need to move on from. This article is about those ones, the ones I need to say good bye to.
When do you need to give your dermatologist the pink slip?
Are they unreliable and often unavailable? Are they late? Do you sit in the examination room for 45 minutes waiting for them? Do they cancel on you? Do they give you incorrect estimates for biopsy results? If so, you might consider firing them.
When they rush you
Do you feel like the examination was hurried and not thorough? Do you feel like your doctor could have missed something? Are you dismissed when you bring up issues or have questions? Do they fail to discuss multiple options when it comes to diagnosis and treatment? If so, you might consider firing them.
When they seem unprepared
Typically, your chart will be located in a container on the other side of the waiting room door for easy access. You can hear your doctor thumbing through the notes and you can tell when they don’t. Does it seem like your dermatologist has little understanding of your patient history? Is your doctor reading your chart in front of you instead of coming in already caught up? If so, you might consider firing them.
When they seem disinterested
Do they ask you questions? Do they listen to you? Do they seem interested in you as a person? If not, you might consider firing them.
When they seem to ignore the details
This goes hand in hand with being rushed. Does your doctor miss things that you think are plain to see? If so, you might consider firing them.
When they are disorganized
Do they spend a lot of time looking for things during your appointment? Does it seem like they don’t have good administrative processes and supports? Do they misplace things? If so, you might consider firing them.
When they seem uninformed
Do you have a better understanding of the most current diagnostic tools or treatment options? If so, you might consider firing them.
When they are not personable
Do they seem interested in you as a person? Do they complain about anything from traffic to the weather? Are they negative and don’t seem hopeful? If so, you might consider firing them.
When they no longer take your insurance or they move away
It might be a good idea to find someone more accessible or affordable, if these are considerations.
These are a few reasons to move on from your dermatologist
I realize that in some cities and towns there are fewer options and you may have to accept some of these limitations and nuances. Sometimes you may have to overcome your doctor’s weaknesses by pressing in, asking questions, insisting on answers and doing your own research. This is not ideal, but always remember that you are your best advocate.
What would it take for you to fire your dermatologist? Share with us in the comments
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