This poor patient posted today about all of the problems she’s having with her pcp and ER doctors in general, it reminded me of what life was like for me ten years ago so this is what I posted…
It’s not easy learning how to best communicate with physicians (and this is something I’m still working on myself…), but I’ve learned a lot of important lessons the hard way, that’s for sure…
The reason you’re having problems with your pcp and the local hospital is because they’re scared. You need to try and find a local GI doctor who is willing to take you on—try to find the nerdy kid who really loves medicine—those are the best chances when you’re having strange problems. In the meantime, when you talk to your pcp and the local hospital, try to keep it distinct and limit how much you talk about your overall medical problems, meaning keep your dialogue with them specific to the moment.
For example, “I’m having severe constipation which started two days ago, and now my pain level is much worse”, or, “there’s a new pain in my lower right abdomen that started this morning and gets worse when I move like this”.
Doctors say they want the entire medical history, but really they don’t. They just want to know what brought you to see them in that moment, and you want to be assessed if your current problem is an emergency or not.
Most doctors are not fully educated on the complexity of all of the various complications that can occur from any kind of digestive system surgery (that’s why specialists are so important 🙂, so try to keep your conversations with any ER doctor specific to what’s going on with you in that moment that’s *new* or different. All they can do is order imaging studies and bloodwork, that’s pretty much it, and that’s what you want them to do anyway. Use as much medical lingo as you can too. It helps to speak their language back to them with a cool and calm voice…it helps them process the information as well.