Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live with self-care mastery. It is for all medical patients, caregivers, and advocates who want to learn how to collaborate with physicians to optimize the efficacy of your medical care.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are videos of webinars or interviews. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:  You’ve talked about second opinions, but how do you know when it is actually time to switch to a new doctor.

ANSWER:  Some patients are a little too quick to switch doctors—especially when they already have a trusting relationship with their doctors.

Before switching doctors, there are two things you can do to try to improve the care you are getting from your doctors. If neither make a difference, then, at that point, you should consider seeing someone else. But before switching doctors, first try the following two things:

First: If you are having signs and symptoms that you feel have not been adequately addressed by your doctor, make sure your doctor really understands all your signs and symptoms. Some patients make light of symptoms for various reasons. Other patients are too passive. It’s never good to act aggressively toward your doctors, but you do need to be assertive in telling your doctor that you want to get to the bottom of the cause of your condition—no matter what it takes. This can often light a fire under doctors and result in the ordering of new tests that they may not have thought of before.

Second: There are three questions that can also light a fire under doctors. These questions can be catalytic when your doctors have not been able to accurately diagnose you.

  1. What else could it be?
  2. Is there anything that doesn’t fit?
  3. Is it possible that I have more than one problem?

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health?

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. I will post a reply to your comment, but your specific question may not appear in this column. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.