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Has anyone switched doctors and how did it go?


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I️ have been with my oncologist for 8 months now. Initially I️ liked him but lately he does not seem to take my complaints seriously and he does not seem to have a clear idea of what to do next. Also he brings residents into the appointments and acts very different when they are there like he is showing off.  I’m thinking about looking for a new doc. Any thoughts or experiences are appreciated.

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Dyan and Chery,

Here is my opinion.  Medicine is a fee for service business.  Like any service industry business, if one paying the fee is unhappy with the service, change the entity performing the service.

Do not put up with mediocre health care.  There are too many good alternatives available.  If you don't like your doctor or staff or treatment facility, change it up.  How does one find a good oncologist?  I found mine through a trusted general practitioner who referred me.  Ask your neighbors, business associates or church members for recommendations.  

How am I treated by my oncologist? I wrote a blog many years ago that used these words to describe my impression: 

"A physician is devoted to restoring, maintaining, and promoting your good health. My physician oncologist does a complete examination (looks in eyes, nose, and throat, checks pulse in the extremities, checks reflexes, listens to breathing and heart rate) every visit. He reviews and explains all test results and asks how I feel. He looks at me as I speak, and he listens and makes notes on what I say. He carefully explains medical treatment alternatives that may arrest the disease, and together we choose each next step. He never rushes consultations and, consequently, often is late to scheduled appointments. Because his tardiness results from spending time with those he treats, I know he cares about me and every other patient."

Stay the course.


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Hello to all,

Dyan, i have had the exact same problem with my onco. Our relationship began 2 1/2 years ago when i was diagnosed with breast cancer, and has continued with my diagnosis of lung cancer in January. I was okay with him with the first cancer, but i’ve been most unhappy with him this go-round, which includes a similar experience to yours at my last appointment. My onco sailed into the exam room, resident in tow and he was all puffed up like a peacock, making sweeping pronouncements regarding my care after which he tried to leave the room. I pulled him back, and made him answer some questions! 

I don’t have many choices in Western NC where i live. I do have another onco at Duke University Hospital in its Thoracic Cancer clinic, but Duke is about 4hrs away. My employer will be changing to a different insurance carrier in a few months, at which time Duke will be out of network. My onco is part of a larger group and i suppose i could change to someone else but that gets tricky once you’re established. 

I have raved a lot on this forum, which i guess is part of its purpose. Breast cancer patients are surrounded with so much love and compassion, and there is little or none of that with lung cancer. 

Tom always offers wise words, an antidote to our frustrations. It is really tough sometimes.


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Tom, who do you use? My oncologist has NEVER once done an examine . NEVER listened to my chest, NEVER looked in my eyes or mouth etc. He NEVER goes over my test results just hands me a print out and says everything looks good. When I questions he answers them in the most brief manner NEVER goes into any detail. There is little communication with the office unless I initiate it. I have to go to the portal on the website to see when my next appointment is. I just thought this was the norm. I see from your doctors caring manner I should be expecting more for the amount of money my insurance is billed.

Thank you for sharing.

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Thank you all for sharing.I️ am in the process of gathering information about potential doctors and looking at the pros and cons of my onc.I️ definitely want someone who uses data to inform decision making, can explain their choices clearly and someone who takes my symptoms seriously. I️ will keep you posted on my decision. Sorry for the glitches with i. Not sure how to fix this LOL

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Like Tom, my oncologist always checks my lymph nodes, breathing, etc. He will answer all of my questions, or listen to me cry when I get scared.  I feel very fortunate to have such a good relationship with him.  I know it's tough when you don't have many options for care; my parents have the same situation where they live.  But it is critical that you like and feel comfortable with everyone on your team, from the front desk to the oncologist and beyond.  


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