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How do you Change doctors??????


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Is there a course one could take in how to approach doctors when changing doctors? Seriously, this is a bummer of a thing to have to do.

Okay - here's my tale - unhappy with the oncologist presently going to because he is not receptive to questions and not forthcoming about things being seen on the catscan film. Brushes questions aside with the attitude he can take care of anything. Not at all unhappy with his surgical skills, just his office demeanor. Since my cancer was caught early and have had a lobectomy via VATS and followups consists of periodic catscans, I am physically doing fine. But my stomach goes into knots when I have the followup appointment with him because I have questions and know I can't feel good about asking them.

Second chapter - I made an appointment with another oncologist - he spoke with me about reasons for changing doctors - I was honest that I was looking for a doctor who would be open to questions and be forthright about findings on my catscans and my present doctor was not receptive to questions and not forthcoming. He then said "Have you ever been to an oncologist before this?" Said "No, I've been quite fortunate" (Later, I realized I should have asked him why he asked me that? - slow on the uptake).Well, he proceeded with an exam, looked at the catscan films.

Third chapter - He feels the present doctor is doing a fine job and that I should continue with him. And that I should just get used to surgeons not liking to talk. I was stunned! I said Thank you and walked out of the room.

Fourth Chapter - I am so upset over this. I know I am very fortunate that my Cancer was a cut and dry experience. I am grateful that my treatment consists of periodic Catscans. My way of coping right now with this experience is crying and thinking I just won't bother having those followup Catscans done. I know that isn't the rational way to approach solving this problem, but that's where I'm at right now. Just thinking of finding another doctor makes me cringe (if that's the right word). And I do not want to go back to the first doctor.

Well, thanks for letting me get this off my chest - there are really more important things to get upset about - I think I'll go see if I can find them.


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You need a doctor you like and feel comfortable with. We have changed oncologists twice, currently on #3. :P The first one it was similar to what you are experiencing. We like our current guy because he listens and takes things seriously. Doesn't tell us that something is part of the disease, etc. but treats it (the cough, the skin rash from Iressa etc.).

If I were you, I would go to my family doctor and ask for a referral to another doctor

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Well, the comment about surgeons not liking to talk seems accurate in my book! My surgeon is the most non-communicative man I've ever met. However -- he came with a nationwide reputation as one of the most skilled lung surgeons in the country so I take his lack of personality and abrupt approach with a grain of salt. (How much personality does a surgeon really need -- their patients are generally knocked out on the table! :wink: )

Fortunately though, I also am under the care of a medical oncologist -- one who is VERY compasionate, open to questions, never rushes me, makes sure I am completely comfortable before I leave his office and has a nurse that takes my every phone call about every little ache and pain...

With that said -- I don't know if I would be satisfied with my surgeon if he was my ONLY outlet for question/answers. I have heard from many people that surgeons aren't exactly known for their "people skills", but if that is your ONLY reference point for cancer questions, you might in fact be better off finding another source!

If I am correct, it sounds like you have a surgeon and oncologist all rolled into one -- is it possible to find a medical oncologigist to do your follow ups? (One who isn't a surgeon?) I don't know what part of the country you are in, but I am sure you could find plenty of referrals here!

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Hi Guest,

Well if I was you I would bring up your concerns to your doctor first. Tell him how you feel. Tell him you do not feel comfortable with the way he answers your questions or coming to him for a follow up. Tell him you want to try someone else if he cannot satisfy your needs. It is very important to have a good doctor and patient relationship. Even if the doctor is doing a fine job does not mean he cannot talk with you and answer your questions. I’m sure if he did not get paid by someone he would find a way to speak up pretty fast. It is very important that you do follow ups. Please do not miss them. Going to another doctor is your right and you should not feel guilty about it. Where do you live, maybe someone on the board can recommend someone for you? Also do not try and go it alone. Join a support group or have a phone buddy. It does help to share this with people who have been there and done that. Do hope this helps. Peace, take care and God Bless.


[The Power Of People Helping People / The Power Of Knowledge / The Power Of God / The Power Of Believing / The Power Of Positive Thinking / The Power Of Never Taking No For An Answer / The Power Of Laughter / United We Stand, Divided We Fall / That’s The Key]

https://cissecure.nci.nih.gov/ncipubs (NCI Publications Locator)

http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 151,00.asp (PLWC Feature: Talking to Someone With Cancer)

http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/ ... 87526.html (3-year-old keeps her smile in battle with rare cancer)

http://www.rfalung.com (Radio Frequency Ablation Of Lung Cancer)

http://www.lungcancercoalition.org (Global Lung Cancer Coalition)

http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 008,00.asp (PLWC Feature: Financial Support Resources)

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/healt ... hqcanc.htm (Best Hospitals)

https://www.alcase.org/advocacy/sign_the_petition.html (Advocacy /Sign the Petition)

http://www.cancersymptoms.org (Oncology Nursing Society)

http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 008,00.asp (Questions to Ask the Doctor)

http://www.alcase.org/education/publica ... reath.html (With Every Breath A Lung Cancer Guidebook / From ALCASE / A Wealth Of Information / Free)

http://www.cancersurvivaltoolbox.org (The Cancer Survival Toolbox / Free / From NCCS)

http://www.centerwatch.com (Clinical Trails Listing Service / Center Watch)

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&editi ... ung+cancer (Lung Cancer In The News)

http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/pro ... /guide.asp (The Wellness Community / National Cancer Support, Education And Support / Free)

http://www.drugs.com (Drug Information Online)

http://www.alcase.org (ALCASE / Alliance For Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, Education)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov (Unites States / National Library Of Medicine)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html (Health Information / Medical Encyclopedia)

http://www.google.com (Great Search Engine)

http://blochcancer.org (R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. / Please read: A Letter to all newly diagnosed cancer patients)

http://www.cancer.org (American Cancer Society)

http://www.cancer.gov (Cancer Information Service / NCI)

http://www.cancerresearchcenter.org (Cancer Research Center)

http://www.aicr.org (American Institute for Cancer Research; Nutrition Hotline / AICR)

http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org (Cancer Hope Network)

http://www.acor.org (Association of Cancer Online Resources / Free Online Lifeline For Everyone Affected By Cancer & Related Disorders)

http://www.meds.com/lung/lunginfo.html (Lung Cancer Information Library)

http://www.lungusa.org (American Lung Association)

http://www.ama-assn.org (American Medical Association)

http://www.docguide.com/news/content.ns ... g%20Cancer (Doctor’s Guide / Lung Cancer)

http://www.healthfinder.gov/Scripts/Sea ... ?topic=506 (Healthfinder)

http://www.medicinenet.com/Lung_Cancer/article.htm (Medicine Net)

http://www.cancerindex.org/clinks2l.htm (Cancer Index / Lung Cancer Resources Directory)

http://www.nfcr.org/site/PageServer?pag ... ncers_lung (National Foundation For Cancer Research)

http://www.patientadvocate.org (Patient Advocate Foundation)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/effects ... fects.html (Lung Cancer Online / Hematologic (Blood) Effects)

http://www.cancerlinks.org/lung.html (Lung Cancer Links)

http://www.cancer-free.com (Cancer Free Connections)

http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/C ... ung_cancer (Health Insite)

http://www.lungcancerclaims.com (Lung Cancer / Lung Cancer Information Page)

http://www.cancerlifecenter.com/engine. ... =dictionar (Cancer Life Center/ Cancer Dictionary)

http://www.canceryellowpages.com/Resour ... G%20CANCER (Cancer yellow Pages)

http://icare.org (ICARE / The International Cancer Alliance)

http://www.vh.org/index.html (Virtual Hospital)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/support/financial.html (Lung Cancer Online / Financial, Legal & Insurance Issues)

http://cancernews.healthology.com/focus ... cancernews (Cancer News)

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My original consultation was with a "best in area" surgeon with WONDERFUL bedside manner. The surgeon who did my surgery was a partner in the office and though not "wonderful" in bedside manner, wasn't a clod (his PA was, though!).

After surgery, referred to an oncologist - oncologist oversees EVERYTHING dealing with the cancer. Sent me to MD Anderson for a second opinion, open to trials, will answer ANY question I ask (and I ALWAYS take a list) and is ALWAYS running at least two hours late for his appointments. I had waiting, but I know WHY I'm waiting. If there was someone in the office earlier in the day that had a LOT of questions, a LOT of concerns, this man sat with that person until they understood what was going on...and although I REALLY hate waiting, I appreciate the time he takes with me and understand that other people need that, too...

Radiation oncologist - follows up on radiation only.

Any OTHER medical issue goes through my GP. I have a GREAT "staff" - don't let someone tell you that ALL doctors are "bad" and have bad bedside manner - it's just not true. (My team is wonderful, the CT techs suck, though...go figure!)

ANYHOW, find another doctor. Look at it as a LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP and find someone that gives you what you need - compassion, the truth, and shares the knowledge you're paying for!

I second the asking your family doctor for a referral. If that gets you nowhere, test the waters here with people you notice are from your general area.

It really shouldn't be so hard,


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Surgeons are generally "engineers" and not "social workers". We go to them for their skill in surgery. I personally would not use one for my primary oncologist. You need a medical oncologist or general oncologist who knows about more than surgery, to oversee your care. I think the second guy you went to is a jerk. You should continue to look for someone you can relate to, get info from, who is aggressive, etc. Do you know anyone else who has had lung cancer or a member of their family had lung cancer where you can get a reading on an onc? Good luck. Don

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I basically have the same problem. My Primary won't call me back. (maybe she is not getting the message from staff.) The oncologist is a breast cancer specialist and admits to it. I asked about RFA and she at first said I was nort a candidate due to where tumor was located. Said tumor had to be in middle of chest in order to be eligible for treatment. I told her she was wrong and she said well then go for it. Does that comment sound professional? I then asked about Celebrex, she said studies show that I would have to have 800mg in am and also in PM. Not so, I looked it up for dosage and study. Total of 800mg per day, not 1600mg. I had radiation and her and radiation onc didn't communicate and I received too much radiation, not eligible for surgery, wouldn't heal. This is according to thorasic (sp?) surgeon at UCLA. Onc never reads or looks at CT's or PETS. Only go by radioligist written reports. I ask a question and she says I don't know then in same breath tells hubby and I, I need to change from HMO to PPO because medical group won't let her continue giving same treatments or prescriptions. PPO is more $$$ out of my pocket and more $$$ into hers. She said the medical group was thinking about bringing in a larger Oncology Group. She said she couldn't even give me a prescription for Celebrex, I had to call my Primary doctor. This is where I haven't gotten a call back. The gal at the Primary doc, said my insurance won't cover celebrex prescription. I tolld her to have the doctor call my insurance company and tell them this is part of my treatment. She said she would have doctor call me back. That was two weeks ago. I don't trust doctors and really dislike them. No treatment since Oct 27th, 2003. Pulmonary doctor is no better. Always says how are you feeling. I say fine, he says thats good. No tests required for review to make sure all is okay. These doctors are so Da* lazy and don't care. I told pulmonary doctor I had never had a breathing test (what is it PSI, not sure) and his comment was, Oh really. He said he would have someone at his office call me with date to do test. That was a week ago. I am so mad at the treatment some of us receive or the treatment that we don't. Doctors are not what they used to be.

Sorry for ranting, but I needed to get this out of my system. There is more, but I have said enough for now.

Also, my 9yr old Kitty just died Sunday unexpectedly from what the vet thinks was either a blood clot to lungs or LC. Had just had him to vet on Wednesday and was put on antibiotic for a cough and respiratory infection. I am just heartbroken over that. Came home from church and he always met me at the door an didn't this time. Went to my bedroom cause he always slept at foot of bed and he was in distress, was having a breathing attack. He couldn't move, he was parylized (sp?). His tail was flipping back and forth as if to say momma's her and she will help me. Rushed him to emergency vet (it was Sunday) and I talked to him all the way (45 min) and he died maybe 10min from vet. They tried to revivie him but to no avail. My heart is so broken. I loved him so, he was more of a puppy than a kitty. Would set up and beg for food, run to door when bell rang or the phone. He always knew when I didn't feel good, would snuggle up to me. I miss him so much...

Blessings and prayers for all of you...


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