by Kim Keller
I remember this funny conversation I had with my mother about changing doctors. This was after Dad died and before Mom’s stroke. I said, “Mom, you need to find a new doctor because this guy you have now is just not paying attention to you.”
She looked at me askance.
“I know you hate the idea of starting over with someone new,” I continued on, “but remember what we learned when Dad was so sick? You need to have good doctors in place before you really need them.”
My mother was unmoved. “Kim, I really like my doctor. And I don’t want to make a change.”
“Okay,” I said, “tell me what you like about him?”
“Well,” she began, “whenever something’s wrong, he just calls in a prescription for me, and he doesn’t make me go into his office to see him.”
I took this in for a minute. Then I looked at her with disbelief. I’m wondering, did I hear that right? “MOM, DID YOU HEAR WHAT YOU JUST SAID?” I asked, astonished. “That’s exactly what I’m talking about! That’s outrageous!”
She gave me a guilty look. “That sounded terrible, didn’t it?”
So she changed doctors after that conversation. Unfortunately, the next doctor we picked seemed to be sleepwalking through her care as well. But, finally, after her stroke, we asked our favorite nurse for a recommendation, and Mom agreed to give the new doctor a try. Now we love Mom’s new physician — she’s smart, she listens, she’s engaged, she communicates, and — my personal favorite accolade — she focuses on Mom’s medications. What a difference! Mom’s glad now that she made the change.
For more information about changing doctors, see our section on How To Find Doctors.