View Full Version : Feeling uncomfortable with my doctor

06-27-2012, 05:27 PM
I have an HMO that allows you to email your doctors. I emailed my primary health care provider about some weakness I've been feeling in my arms. Like, I've been having to rest my arms when drying my hair or doing the dishes; I've never had to do that before. It's not all the time but it is something I have noticed.

The response I got was basically I need to come in to be seen (which I expected) but is worded like this:
"I'd probably need to examine you to see if its real."

I'm sure it's just a poor choice of wording but WTF -- I feel sick all the time and I've been having enough trouble convincing myself that yes, I can slow down if I need to, but feeling like my doc is dismissive of symptoms I know I am feeling is FRUSTRATING.

06-27-2012, 09:23 PM
I'll keep it short , sounds like you need a new doctor. Its called bedside manners and obviously your doctor doesnt have any. I use to get the same symptoms n it
would come n go, even effected me carrying my purse. anyway got misdiagnose by my Primary that it was muscle spasms, ended up in ER becauce woke up with pain shooting down arm couldnt lift arm up, hspt thought i was having a heart attack make long story short i had a herniated disk compressing my spinal cord,
had to have surgery or face paralysis, after surgey neursurgeon said bones had turned to mush n i was lucky nothing hadnt happen to prior to this.

its not all in your head

06-28-2012, 06:14 AM
Most definitely not in your head. I feel this way frequently as well. I agree with Slim.. as soon as your doctor makes you feel the way that yours has, it's time to find a new doctor.

06-28-2012, 06:34 AM
I'm going to play devil's advocate here, just for the sake of considering all possibilities.

I think email is a sub-ideal medium for communication in some situations because sometimes you can't see the person's body language, etc. (That said, I wish I had email access to my doctors!) So, while your doctor should have been more sensitive in how she phrased it, what she probably meant was that you should come in to see if your weakness is objective weakness caused by muscle damage or if it's something else, some other fatigue that's plaguing you. Based on the email alone, I wouldn't assume your doctor is dismissing your symptoms. I'd wait to see how she acts at the appointment to decide whether you feel that way about her. Of course, the email was poorly worded, as you observed, but I wouldn't switch to another PCP based solely on an email. It takes time to build a relationship with a doctor, and while sometimes we need to end these relationships, it shouldn't be done on a whim especially when you have complicated, chronic health issues.

So, I'd just say, give her the benefit of the doubt, a second chance. Maybe she was in a hurry, maybe it was an off day. And when you see her, let her know how the dismissive tone of her email made you feel. Doctors are human, too, so if you tell her how you felt, it may help her be more thoughtful in her communications with you and other patients in the future.

If the doctor has a consistent practice of being dismissive, even when you see her in person, I'd be more inclined to agree with other responses here. But based on one poorly-worded email, I'd say share your concerns with your doctor and give her another chance. But if this dismissive behavior becomes a regular thing, it's definitely time to move on! The key good good care is an outstanding PCP, in my opinion.