Dismissed By Your Doctor
Last updated: July 2022
Maybe you went to an appointment with the hope and anticipation that they can answer your questions about your recent health struggles, only to be rushed through the appointment and not given the time to ask your question.
This can be incredibly frustrating in any situation, especially in the appointments you’ve been waiting weeks or months to get on the schedule.
Feeling like your doctor isn't listening to you
Maybe you sent a message in the patient portal to explore a new therapy that seems promising, but you received a harsh one-sentence response. It makes you wonder if the doctor even took the time to look into it.
Or maybe you’ve called about a new symptom you’re having and didn’t even receive a callback. Did they get the message? Should you call back?
I’ve experienced these scenarios, and I know many of you have. So how exactly do we navigate this road?
Our symptoms are real.
Our experiences are valid.
Our voices need to be heard.
That’s why staying connected in a community like this is so important. Share your experiences and see that you are not alone.
Others are experiencing it too.
We need to open this conversation so we can learn from one another how we can best advocate for our health. We want this conversation to bring change.
We want to feel better, and we want the appointments with our doctors to help get us one step closer.
Here are some steps that I take, and I would love for you to share in the comments below what works for you so that we can learn from you too.
What to do when feeling dismissed by your doctor
Take some deep breaths
Every moment of tension or frustration needs to start with a deep breath. I need to ease the tension in my body so I can think and communicate clearly with others.
I’m a far better advocate for myself when I’m grounded and able to express my thoughts to others. So, I invite you now, and in those moments of feeling dismissed, to take a breath.
I often remind myself of one thought: the cost of stress is too high. Regardless of the situation, the cost of stress on my health is not worth it. I will not let someone else's stress create unhealthy stress in my body.
The breath helps to ease the tension in my body so that I can move forward in a much more productive and effective way.
Remember why you are there
Next, ask yourself, “What is my desired outcome?”
Am I looking for advice, a script for testing or medication, a referral for a service, or an opinion on a supplement or alternative therapy?
What is the outcome that I want from this interaction? Asking myself this question helps me to get laser-focused on how to best guide the conversation.
It also helps me to realize when I’m seeking their permission or opinion on something that I don’t need their permission on. This is often the case with discussions around diet and lifestyle habits.
I don’t need their permission to start improving my diet. I’m not expecting a cure, but I want to feel better, and the food I put in my body can support me.
So, what do you ultimately need from this interaction with them?
Stay the course
From there, I map out the steps I need to take to achieve my desired outcome. If, along the way, I feel that I’m not getting the response that I need from my doctor or care team, then I remind myself that I need to stay the course, but it may not be with this doctor.
Getting a second opinion or moving to a new practice is okay. The most crucial step is staying on the course that is most important and beneficial for you.
These are just a few things I do in these moments, but I want to hear from you, too.
What do you find helpful to do when you’re feeling dismissed by your doctor?
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):