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Changing Primary Care Doctors

Last updated: February 2022

You know what they say: If you are not happy, why don't you leave?

Well, that is exactly what I have been trying to do with my primary care doctor. I have been with him since I was a little girl. Since I am part of Medi-cal, I have always had a hard time with the medical system. As a low-income member of society who has Medi-cal benefits, it has not been easy to find good care.

Why do I want to change doctors?

The following are the reasons why I have been fighting with my insurance to change doctors.

I am further from my doctor

I moved about three months ago now, and that specific doctor is two towns away, which is about twenty minutes from where I live. The distance is not bad at all, but I would prefer someone closer to my new location. Also, this doctor is not open 5 days a week. As of now, with my work and school schedule, his hours of operation are not accommodating to people working past 5 pm.

He is unavailable for last-minute appointments

He isn't always available or able to accommodate last-minute appointments. Sometimes I have waited a week, and then my symptoms have gotten worse by the time I see him. Which ultimately causes me to go to urgent care.

He focuses on surface level issues

I have gone to this specific doctor for advice on minor things like ear pain to major things like skin infections in the past years. Most of the time, he has just prescribed me ibuprofen, which I could just get over the counter. He also doesn't seem to like to do thorough tests to find out what is truly going on. He finds alternatives that will help mask the pain but not resolve the problem before him.

He isn't open to new practices

This doctor is known for doing old-school practices, which is okay if you like that kind of medical setting. But it is something I am not looking for anymore. He doesn't like to try new things in the medical field. The doctor also won't listen to the ideas you suggest at times. I am looking for a doctor who will be open to trying new medicines, learning about new research, and practicing more modern medicine techniques.

What does my ideal doctor look like?

My ideal doctor would be someone in my area. Someone willing to listen to my needs. I want someone who will ask me what I like and dislike. Someone who will not suggest things that I don't want for my body, like steroids. A doctor who will help to advocate for me when the insurance doesn't want to provide certain medication.

Changing my eczema care team

Before the end of the year, my goal is to change primary care doctors, dermatologists, and other physicians I have in my life. As a patient, it is important to feel happy and comfortable with your medical team, which I am not right now. I tend to get very anxious and stressed out when attending doctor's visits. It is not how I would like to feel. I hope I am able to change soon!!

Have you had to advocate for your health needs? If so, how did it go?

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