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Good doctors, bad doctors

Jun 01, 2015 7:52 AM

I've been to many doctors over the years and I must say there a lot of bad ones and some good ones. Well, maybe calling them bad isn't fair. They just don't have a clue about fibromyalgia or chronic pain in general.

Here are some tells that I have learned over time:

- a good doctor will admit that he does not know enough about fibro and send you to someone who does.
- a bad doctor will give you some painkillers and tell you to come back in a couple of months

- a good pain doctor will keep investigating the cause of your pain and he will spend a lot of time listening to you.
- a bad doctor will tell you "it will pass" and send you home after a 5 min visit

- a good pain doctor will tackle your pain on all levels (meds, physical exercise, explain how chronic pain works, explain how you need to change your behavior and mindset) and often times he will send you to experts in addition (e.g. Pain psychologist).
- a bad doctor will shoot one bullet at a time

What tells did you come across?

Jun 01, 2015 8:23 AM

I agree, find a doctor who knows what he/she is talking about. Finally seeing a doctor who is specialized on fibromyalgia was like day and night for me. She was the very first doctor who gave me the feeling that I am not crazy. I was able to trust her and open up. I learned a lot about how chronic pain works and what I can and should do to deal with it. She also told me that you need to treat pain as quickly as possible: The longer you wait, the harder it gets to get rid of it. That's why it is especially bad if your doctor hesitates to start real treatment and diagnostics and just tells you to wait a couple of months.

Jun 01, 2015 10:29 AM

I had a good primary doc until my parents divorced and she didn't want to deal with my mom and the court.
My next doc accused my dad of encouraging addiction, then told me to just drink beer for the pain.
I'm 14, so that's not an easy option. She also decided I just had carpal tunnel, ignoring the research I had done and the fact that I still had pain 5 months after completely not using my hand.
She also didn't acknowledge the family history of early onset arthritis.
My current doc is a lot better, it only took a couple of appointments for her to refer me to a neurologist, and then also to the children's hospital.
At the children's hospital, I was asked why I thought it was CRPS compared to other diagnoses. They agreed, and I started Physical therapy.
Recently, I got sick (again) and the doc at Urgent Care had heard of CRPS, and understood the way infections are so much worse with chronic pain.
I have met so many doctors they mostly blur together. A few stand out, good or bad, and I'm extremely thankful for my dad's science geekiness.

Jun 01, 2015 2:50 PM

Donny, you hit the nail on the head!

In my experience a good doctor will stop a treatment when he suspects it's causing more problems. A bad doctor will refuse to help you because they're stumped, or refer you out because they don't want to look like they didn't know what they were talking about.

A good doctor will listen and run tests to see if your fears are grounded or unfounded. A bad doctor will preach their own beliefs at you as to why you don't need this or that, or should make the same changes in your diet they did. πŸ™πŸŒΌ

Jun 01, 2015 4:44 PM

I was literally just thinking about this very thing last night. Like, is there someone or somewhere to report bad doctors or file a complaint or something? I don't necessarily want to sue or anything, just like, one of my past doctors latched onto the idea that there was one cause to my pain and that's it and refused to hear anything else even though he turned out to be wrong. I mean, we are paying these ppl, with insurance sometimes, out of pocket other times. There ought to be someplace we can go.

Jun 01, 2015 4:53 PM

I've been misdiagnosed so many times I've lost count, doctors have been rude/condescending/patronizing/completely out of their minds on treatments, refused to listen/hear me, refused to refer me to specialists, didn't give a crap to begin with, refused to acknowledge new or contradicting symptoms, treated me like an addict, treated me like I was lying... I mean, the list goes on and it's ridiculous. One of my previous doctors, the one who was CERTAIN of the cause of my pain, sent me to a specialist who then disproved the docs theory - and the doc STILL hung on to his theory, even though it was wrong.

Jun 01, 2015 5:03 PM

Oh, and I love the ones that try to shame you for taking certain medications (often opiates).

Like this is EXACTLY how I want my life to be. Yes, I WANT to be in constant horrible pain. Just so I can take numerous medications with a ton of side effects to alleviate maybe 20% of the pain on good days. I FOR SURE want to stay at home in pain in bed crying while the last friend I have decides they just can't deal with my being unable to hang out and go places whenever they want. Clearly, it's just because I'm a hypochondriac (heard this one from my mother too) and don't want to be around them.

I have multiple gigantic medical files that go back to when I was born with this medical condition. I have a clear readable history. But it's somehow not enuf for some doctors. Or maybe it's too much. I don't know.

Jun 02, 2015 2:56 PM

Amie you are correct it is TOO much for some doctors. They are more interested in one patient every few minutes. Cookie cutter style. I leave feedback on social media good bad whatever it was. Ferret bandit being a science geek/nerd is a great thing! You / we all have to advocate for ourselves. I have seen so much in my medical career that sometimes I just have to say WTF. Then I ask if I can get torrerts added to my diagnosis. *I am not making fun of a serious diagnosis -just trying to add some humor to a very real problem. I am equally frustrated. Good points from everyone that posted.

Jun 02, 2015 3:19 PM

Thanks for all your posts. On one hand I am glad to hear that I am not the only one having encountered bad doctors (I assume this means that I am not the problemπŸ˜‰). On the other hand it is a real pity that there are so many bad/ignorant doctors. We are suffering enough and doctors shouldn't add to it!

Have you ever heard about e-patient dave? He is a promoter of the empowered patient movement. I strongly suggest watching his TED video.


Jun 02, 2015 4:21 PM

Will have to check that out. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™πŸŒΌ

Jun 02, 2015 4:23 PM

I think you truly truly need to know the difference between the difference between a good doctor and a bad one. I will give an example. I am battling this parasite infection. When you search for a doctor, I feel or know it is imperative to know at least as much but I think more than other doctors. Most people have to see their primary doctors first. They are a jack of all trades doctor. They can't spend all their time studying all the time about one system of the body. That is what specialist for. That is why they aren't familiar with a lot of uncommon things. With my parasite infection, I learned about the many ways you can be infected, the different species of tapeworms, how they breed inside you, what that wound feels like and the cyst in the middle. I know all the different symptoms by going to different medical schools and finding different cases and different symptoms that was reported then even in rare cases, I know the standard test used and the new test they used. I know the supported lab work and radiology required for a definite diagnosis. , I know all the drugs, treatments, and surgeries to treat it. I have been to at least 6 doctors and they dismissed me as delusional because I didn't have symptoms when they missed at least 2 by the CDC and 4 by various medical universities. They did not know that their was a tapeworm breeding wound and had no idea how to identify it. They used blood work to test for parasites and said it was impossible for me to have them when according to an email I sent and received a reply back from the CDC, showed it is positive several days a month.

So my point is we need to know more than they do on our disease. We may not be able to know as much as a specialist. But there are free lab value apps, medical dictionaries, medical university websites as an encyclopedia (I like the mayo clinic site so far), national institute of health, medline, symptom diagnosis apps to get you started, CDC, clinical trial apps and sites, drug.com app or site, drug.com pill identifier app, drug.com list new releases of new and generic medicine and their uses. you can go to google and put a news and web search in for your disease or condition and receive articles as you want them. Once every day or week. This will keep you up to date on the newest information on your disease on condition.

This will help us to identify the difference between a good or bad doctor. I have so much respect for the doctor who uses three simple words, "I don't know". He is showing he or she doesn't believe they or a God and they have humility by not saying there is nothing wrong because they don't know enough and they admit they need to do some research or send you to someone one with more experience. Sorry to take so much time. Sort of passionate about this subject

Jun 02, 2015 6:11 PM

Journal watch is a good Web site to check out.

Jun 02, 2015 6:17 PM

You're right Profiler.

I subscribe to a emagazine called ID - Ideas & Discoveries that has two great articles I wish I could upload or post:

Is My Doctor Lying To Me & The 7 Secret Codes of Pain. Hmm maybe I'll create 2 new topics and write out the articles.

Jun 03, 2015 12:28 PM

Profiler hits the nail on the mark. I'm from a very isolated place, they change their doctors once every year, and some stays for 3 months. I've seen more local GP than an average person.

Since my back pain, only 1 out of 7 doctors actually referred me to a specialists. Rest basically writes a pain killer scripts and sends me home. One of them told me to drink more water and sent me home. Omfg!! Even seeing my previous history they told me to just take normal Panadol and sent me home. None of them admits of doing any wrong after I wrote to our local government complaining about their attitude of care to the patients. I gave up and told them I need to find my own specialists.

Jun 05, 2015 2:02 PM

Amie, if you feel well enough to do it, it sounds like a really good idea so that we could all read them and learn from what they have to say.

Jun 05, 2015 7:23 PM

The words that I absolutely hate to hear coming out of a doctors mouth is, "it's all in your head."
I said to my specialist, "well, if it's all in my head, do you want to come walk a mile in my shoes and see how I feel?"

Jun 06, 2015 7:34 PM

Good for you, Amanda!!! I think that these doctors really need to be put in their place from time to time. For the most part, folks think that because they went to school for so many years, have the white coat and stethascope, they are beyond reproach. Well, I've got news for folks who think like that... They are HUMAN just like the rest of us, make mistakes and have moods and every now and again need to be bitch slapped back into reality!!!

Jun 06, 2015 8:08 PM

Amen!!!!!! I wanted to bitch slap him back to the last century. Thankfully, my new specialist is really good and I really like her.

Jun 10, 2015 11:05 AM

Bitch slapping... :-) I've almost been there. Some of the doctors made me very angry. But most of the times they made me angry in hindsight when I finally realized how bad they are. I have wasted a lot of time and money on them. If somebody sold voodoo dolls to "tickle" doctors, I would be a buyer. This way they would finally know what it feels like to walk in our shoes. No more "it's just in your head"!

Once I asked a doctor if I might have fibromyalgia. Without saying much, he handed me a brochure about fibro and told me to read it. "Next time we meet, let me know whether you think you have fibro or not" he said. Thanks a lot, *bitch slap*.

Jun 10, 2015 4:22 PM

Take back control. You have to be your own advocate. You have to speak up. Don't let doctors get away with being lazy or incompetent. Do your own research, and bring it with you. Be articulate. Be specific. If they don't know something, or don't believe in something, or if you feel as tho your not being heard, ask for a referral to a specialist, or get a second opinion. Hell, get a third and fourth if u have to. I cannot stress this enough: Be Your Own Advocate! And remember: They are doing a job for you, and if they aren't giving you what you need, take your business elsewhere.

Jun 10, 2015 5:03 PM

Well said. Doctors are your employee. That being said if they cannot do the job YOU hired them to do fire them. If the doctor does not help you what is the point. Throw your money in the wind, it will be more satisfying. I have straight up walked out of a doctors office before after having my money refunded. Just because you are the patient do not become a victim. Do your research and take your notes with you. Ever get home and remember what you forgot to ask? Write your questions down and gave them out and ready. You will not regret it.

Jun 15, 2015 4:43 PM

I totally agree, making notes is very important. Your doctor should have the patience to hear out your story and answer all of your questions.

Jun 17, 2015 11:05 AM

Yep, notes made a big difference for me. My doc knows he can't get me out of the room until we covered all my notes :-)

Jul 06, 2015 3:17 PM

Wow this discussion is awesome. Often times I feel intimidated by doctors and I thought they know everything. Now I know they don't

Jul 06, 2015 3:41 PM

When I was looking for Dr's for my spinal fusion one Dr rose above the rest. He had started the scoliosis testing in the school system in the 70's and was a world recognized surgeon. At first he was very attentive.and I thought I did right. Then 2yrs later afafter my 2nd surgery he became my worst nightmare. He couldn't "fix me" so he just dropped me. I told him I was unable to work or do every day thing I was miserable he says become a saleswoman for cars or a weather girl. (Ya right) then after my second surgery which left me even more miserable he says find a job laying down.....REALLY!! Horrible man and worst Dr ever!!!!!

Jul 06, 2015 4:29 PM

It's a shame that doctors don't know ho we to treat our medical issues

Jul 07, 2015 3:12 PM

It very difficult with doctors. I have had this problem since about first grade before the word fibromyalgia even existed. When the doctor tells me i don't know my body, he knows more, i walk. I learned to trust myself because some have gave meds that made so sick i endex in er because

Jul 07, 2015 3:14 PM

Ended in er so sick i thought i was having heart attack or couldn't breath.

Jul 08, 2015 6:50 AM

Goes to show that even gp's look at the disabled as a drain on resources.
I've had gp's suggesting I'm making it up, I should eat less and exercise more, and possibly the worst couple would be in the space of the last year......
'It's probably just a winter cold, you'll be fine.' After which I was so ill the next day (having blood tests) that the nurses called in backup to try and convince me to go to the hospital. I refused but the following morning after the worst night, I gave in. Turned out the blood results were 'unusual and they couldn't understand what was wrong.' I was admitted with the suspicion of pneumonia. Put on fluids but the only vein they could access (after multiple attempts and enormous pain) was done by a senior doctor in A&E into my foot. When that fell out in the night I had another put in my hand next to my pointing finger! I'd add pics but it won't let me.
More recently I had to change gp's due to being made homeless so two moves within two months! Too far to travel to the old GP which I miss loads. New GP accepted myself and my children but, after the first appointment they ring me up to tell I have to find a new GP as I'm out of area. They are my closest GP! They didn't ask either of my children to leave. 😑 I complained to the NHS and I'm still with the surgery. However they go out of their way to be unhelpful. When I saw a GP there about my feet he stated I probably would benefit from insoles but refused to refer me!
The only gp's I see now are locums as they aren't swayed by the surgery policy. Sadly I'm now waiting for my referrals for pain clinic and OT as my last ones are too far away. I'm not holding my breath.😞

Jul 08, 2015 9:28 AM

PJB, I'm sorry for your experience. Right now I'm staying with my PCP. But he's done both me and my hubby similar to you. It was after I went to an endocrinologist and rheumatologist without his approval (I didn't need them per him), and my hubby asked for all our records, the doctor realized he was about to lose two of his long term patients, one who frequently has to come in (me)... He treats us both better, but not as he should.

Praying that you'll find the best doc you've ever had! πŸ™πŸŒΌ

Jul 30, 2015 6:35 PM

The last pain doc I went to kept leaving the exam room after I asked a question. He'd come back and ask if I had any questions but would never answer them! He also kept telling me to "trust him" but would never tell me why or what he intended to do to "help" me. He did not do an exam, changed my Cymbalta to Desvenlafax which made my depression 10 times worse, then he told me that he would not refill any of my meds which is why I was there in the first place (medication management). I then had to make another appointment for 3 weeks later and I wasn't told why. I found out later it was to schedule injections for nerve damage that he didn't even know where the damage was located. He only wanted to do the procedures at his surgi-center and not the hospital that I had to have anything done at, even though he has privileges there! I had just gotten out of the ICU a few weeks before (another pain doc refused to refill my meds for over a week and I ended up in the ICU on life support for most of January 2015) and he didn't ask why I was there and how I was doing now. He also kept shaking his head "no" every time I told him about my diagnosis and about the malpractice that has caused me to have severe, unrepairable, damage. He then kept shaking his head "no" saying that "no doctor would ever do that!". Basically saying that I was lying.

Jul 30, 2015 6:41 PM

Kathy3260 hire a good attorney. No one should be treated like that.

Jul 30, 2015 6:44 PM

It might seem stupid, but I've seen every doc in the clinic and none are kind, they all make me flinch, and the best one of them, I still don't like and there's a huge language barrier. They've ignored recorded allergies to milk/dairy and...I hate it there. As in, I get nauseating migraines and an anxious reaction just from seeing a certain doc, even if she's just walking past me int he hallway. It sucks.

Jul 30, 2015 7:47 PM

Ferret, I flinch at the sight or sound of my freaking Orthopaedic surgeon. And your right, that does suck.

Jul 30, 2015 9:02 PM

There isn't an attorney in Texas that will take on my case. They all want you to do all the work or charge you $100,000 just to try to get a doctor to testify against the doctor that malpracticed you! Also, my husband is a Chief Human Resources Officer in my hospital and if he wants to retire from the hospital, we can't do anything! It sucks, but it is the way it is at least for me.

Jul 31, 2015 11:41 AM

I can't stand my pain doctor. He don't even listen to me at all. All he say I understand.

Jul 31, 2015 4:54 PM

Wow, I thought I've seen some bad doctors but seems some of you had seen so much worse. Makes me think twice about bad doctors definitely..

Jul 31, 2015 10:47 PM

I would change pain management doctors as soon as you can!! There is no excuse to be treated in such a way. IF you go back
To him, I would point blank ask him, why do you leave the room when I ask you a question and then you ask if I have any questions and you never answer them. You won't fill my meds and then make an appointment 3 weeks away and don't tell me why. I would ask him exactly how you are supposed to "trust him" when he's not given you a reason to. I hope you have better luck and that you find a good doctor to help you and won't dismiss you that way.. You're in my prayers.πŸ’•πŸ™πŸ»πŸŒ»

Aug 01, 2015 7:48 AM

Kathy3260, AlwayZ is on point for sure! But also look him straight in the face and ask him, "What are you helping the most, my pain or your wallet?". πŸ™πŸŒΌ

Aug 01, 2015 9:31 AM

I went through a string of horrible PCPs one of whom said I was crazy and wrote in my chart that I had "maladjustment syndrome". (Turned out that my TSH levels were so bad I should have been comatose at the time)
I am really fortunate to have found an awesome PCP who immediately sent me to a cardiologist, a neurologist and a rheumatologist who diagnosed me with FM.
I feel like finding that old Dr and giving him a kick in the nuts! πŸ˜‚

Sep 02, 2015 6:50 AM

Yes, I agree to being treated as a med seeker. It's been 3 excruciating years with limited social interactions, not being able to pick up my grandson, irritability from no sleep, frustration from MDs "passing the buck." Oh, and ruined credid from 750 to 540! Too many deductibles!

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