Should I try to trust doctors?

I’m in a bit of medical flux at the moment.

I have a naturopath who’s very helpful and knowledgeable, but thanks to absurd politics, naturopaths aren’t licensed in Massachusetts. That means she can’t order blood tests or prescribe medications. Great. I haven’t had a primary care physician (PCP) that I’ve trusted in many years, and in hindsight, none of them were very good anyway, and some even did harm. I have never had a “good” PCP. I have some specialists who are good, but they aren’t in the specialty that I need right now. In a few weeks I’ll see a new PCP, but I’ve never gotten any value out of PCPs. Still, they are necessary for insurance referrals, so I will see the PCP and grade him based on his willingness and ability to refer me to good specialists. And when he does refer me, should I trust the new specialist?

After many years of bad health, I’m finally ready to try new treatments that could really help me. But these are all based on research that I did myself. I then ran that research by my doctors and naturopath and they all agree this is the way to go, but I had to figure it out for myself. I no longer expect a doctor to give me any answers. That means that right now, I am only looking for doctors who are willing and knowledgeable enough to implement the treatment plan that I have designed for myself, and to help catch any potential problems and fix them.

The thing is, what if something new comes up that I haven’t already researched? I just can’t trust a doctor to catch it and treat it properly. It could be big or small, but I won’t trust them. I know that trust is essential, but I just don’t have it for most in the medical field. I have seen my naturopath quite a bit in the last year+ and I mostly trust her, but not 100%  So then why would I trust someone new?

I don’t trust easily. That goes for friends, lovers, medical practitioners, and anyone else I get close to. I don’t give out trust; it has to be earned. My friends have all earned my trust. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t consider them friends. So have my lovers. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have slept with them. But I don’t have the luxury of visiting doctors a bunch of times and letting them earn my trust. Most of them don’t seem interested in earning it, and the insurance won’t pay for it (nor will my bank account.)

The truth is, I have been screwed over by doctors, health insurances, and medical facilities so many more times than I have covered in this blog. Tests I needed weren’t run. Abnormal test results were ignored. Surgery was performed unnecessarily. I was blamed for my own health problems. I was ignored. I was embarrassed. I was belittled. I was outright lied to. Necessary referrals to specialists weren’t given. Important medications were denied. It’s not that I won’t write about it all, it’s that I can’t. I can’t even remember it all. There’s just too much.

So after all of that, how can I be expected to trust a new doctor? But then, what other choice do I have?

By the way, I set out to write about what I am looking for in my new doctors. I need to think about this before I see them in a few weeks so I really tried to come up with what was most important to me. I couldn’t come up with a damn thing because no matter how I thought about it, it always came back to the same problem: I wouldn’t trust them to help me.

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8 Responses to Should I try to trust doctors?

  1. Karen J says:

    I just “Like”d this for moral support value, CR!

    That I “hear you” on all those points, SOOO doesn’t mean I’m happy about any of them! I’m in a similar pickle myself, about several situations – not just health issues…

    Blessings to you!

  2. A good PCP is so darn rare, luckily I found an awesome one after some horrible experiences with a pediatrician who also misdiagnosed me often and caused me shame for no good reason, simply for being sick at times claiming I was attempting to dodge school days. I’m so sorry to hear your difficulty in trusting a new PCP but it’s certainly understandable after what you’ve gone through. Good luck, and perhaps ask where they take their continuing education classes for their medical license. it’ll really throw’em off track and make you seem unique in some cases, and the school they learn from can tell you a lot about which treatments they may support.

    All the best,
    Michael

    • chronicrants says:

      Michael, I LOVE that idea!!! I will definitely ask about continuing ed classes. If you have any tips on finding a good pcp, I’m happy to listen!

      • Honestly I would say ask a registered nurse that’s a mom or dad in your community. Even if you don’t know them well these tend to be compassionate people with connections to doctors they’ve known intimately for years! I say this because my mother became an R.N. after years of me having health problems as a child and disliking her computer engineering job. She’s who I would ask, in fact tomorrow I’ll email you a list of questions I come up with alongside her!

      • chronicrants says:

        That would be awesome! Thanks! I’ll have to give some thought to who I know that’s an RN. And if any of you readers can recommend someone in the Boston area, I’d be really grateful.

      • I’ll even ask my PCP tomorrow if he’s not too busy who he knows in Boston that is good with chronic pain and knows good specialists

      • chronicrants says:

        That would be awesome! I especially need an endocrinologist with a subspecialty in hypothyroid and an open mind.

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