Nobody likes a breakup, but sometimes, you gotta pull the plug.
We all know this feeling applies to romantic relationships, but did you know it also applies to your relationship with your GP or doctor?
It’s important to know that not every practitioner is for you - much like how every person on Tinder isn't for you either (!).
So if you’re feeling that your GP or doctor is not a great fit for your needs, how do you navigate the murky water of breaking up with them? Swiping left IRL isn’t an option (yet). Do you have a face-to-face discussion or pull the classic smoke bomb manoeuvrer?
Your doctor or GP is a member of your trusted inner-circle of life professionals, like your accountant or lawyer. There is no stigma in having an open conversation, but there are a few simple tips to keep in mind, which can make the transition process between professionals smoother.
Read on to learn how you know it’s time to move on - and what you can do.
* As a side note, I recently spoke about this topic on Channel 9's The Today Show - check out the video here!*
Tip # 1 - You Don’t Fit The Age Group
If you’ve had the same doctor or GP since childhood, there’s a good chance you could have outgrown their expertise. Your doctor or GP might have specialised in childhood & adolescent health, so as you grow, keep in mind that there are others out there who could better serve your needs.
Tip # 2 - A Specialist Is Better Suited To Your Needs
In my opinion, it's always great to have an open conversation. As a patient, you ultimately hire your GP or doctor for their expertise as medical professionals. If you feel that your GP or doctor is not delving deep enough into your case, there’s no shame in asking to be referred to a specialist in that particular medical discipline who can give you a more in-depth consultation.
Tip # 3 – Your Doctor Breaks Up With You
If there is a conflict of interest with your case, your doctor or GP could be obligated to refer you to another practitioner. It’s worth noting that doctors and GPs are also human beings and thus prone to changing practices, retiring from service and moving interstate/overseas. When this happens unexpectedly and you’re left in the lurch, read on…
Tip # 4 – Ask for Referrals From Your Existing GP or Doctor
It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your current GP or doctor for his or her help and advice in finding someone new. It may sound counterintuitive, but they have the most immediate access to your health records & history and could recommend another medical practitioner within their clinic or practice that is more suited to your needs. Plus, doctors and GPs work in a practice with other practitioners who might specialise in other areas of medicine, so they can more easily share notes within one organisation.
Tip # 5 – Listen to Family & Friends
Talk to your family and friends and ask for recommendations of medical professionals whom they consult with. Make sure to ask WHY their doctor or GP comes with their recommendation. Is it their breadth of experience? Their friendly manner? Make a list of qualities you are looking for and crosscheck with your family & friends referrals.
Tip # 6 – Search When You Are Healthy
Chances are, the time you are most likely to be searching for a GP is when you’re ill and feeling downright rotten. This isn’t ideal for a number of reasons, but mainly because you won’t be on your 'A' game to spend time asking the questions you need answered. Instead, pencil in half a day to meet with medical professionals when you’re feelin’ fine. Pick and choose your final candidate based on the outcome of these consultations.
Tip # 7 – Search Digitally & Trial IRL
If you are Google searching for a new medical practitioner, it’s important to try before you buy. Have several consultations with several doctors before you commit to one. Have a chat about your specific health concerns or keep the conversation general and discuss the working relationship you'd like to have in the future. It can be good to trial out a new doctor or GP for the ‘small stuff’ - like a cold - so when the big stuff comes along, you know who to call.