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Good Advice for all of us when dealing with doctors

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Many of you probably have had similar experiences....


I have taken my son to many, many medical professionals. By the time we got to our current treating doc, I started counting the number of medical folks we had seen. She was #25. She has helped us the most.


Why is she the best so far? Because she takes a lot of time with us, listens, is respectful and even empathizes on a personal level.


I have fired doctors after one visit. I now believe that you can tell in only one visit whether or not a doc is a good fit.


I am currently reading the book Blink by Malcom Gladwell and he states the same on page 43:


"Next time you meet a doctor, and you sit down in his office and he starts to talk, if you have the sense that he isn't listening to you, that he's talking down to you, and that he isn't treating you with respect, listen to that feeling. You have thin-sliced him and found him wanting."


Thin-slicing refers to the concept that you can form a pretty accurate opinion of a situation or person in just short clip of interaction or time.


When finding help for your child, listen to your gut feelings about a doc. I wish I had done this so long ago. Perhaps the doc that now helps the most wouldn't have been #25 on my list.

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When I first approached our trusted family doctor (also a family friend) of 30 years about the possibility of DD having a lyme infection, he talked down to me. He told me I was crazy to even think this may be a possibility. He wanted to treat her pain/psychiatric symptoms with ritalin, clonipin and a good spanking. I had trusted this doctor's opinion for 30 years. He treated my grandmother's congestive heart failure for 20 years, and kept her going until she was 98.


I went with my gut, found that "thin slice" wanting and walked out.


I was then stuck with the problem of having no help or support. No one in the family (neither my husband, my mother, my sister) thought I was working with a sound mind. I frantically searched for months and found the help that I needed, both here on the forum, with our LLMD and now with our new naturopath. It made me sick to walk out on our PCP, but if I hadn't trusted my gut (which by the way, I have lots more faith in) I'm not sure where DD would be now.

Edited by rowingmom
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Hello MDmom,

I am brand new to all of this and I already see what you mean about thin slicing. I don't have time to waste with a doctor that doesn't listen. Please send me a personal message so I can speak with you via email. There are similarities between our children, and I think you would be a wealth of knowledge. For some reason, I am unable to send you a personal message on this site. I'm so sleep deprived at this point it may be me and not the site, however. I look forward to hearing from you.


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I found that its hard to tell somethng to someone that already knows because they wont listen. They have lots of experience at solving the problems we are addressing. I used to get this more when i was younger with my work. One thing i would do to get them not to be defensive was to ask them as the expert for help. I would identify the problem and any typical differences , and proceed to identify why the common solutions dont work. This is the point i would get a clue about listening or being set in ttheir way. We are on our second pcp and what i did to save time was write a history summary about DD. Many doctors are about time management due to the nature of their profession and anything you can think of that helps them with that is a win win.

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