8 Most Obvious Signs a Doctor Isn’t Providing Excellent Patient Care

Updated on October 17, 2023

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Picture: Tom Claes 

We generally expect healthcare professionals to provide excellent care when we need it. This normally involves taking our worries seriously and giving accurate diagnoses. It can also include communicating effectively and offering the most suitable treatment options. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Some patients ultimately receive subpar care. If you can relate to these situations below, there is every reason to believe your healthcare provider isn’t providing the care you deserve. 

They’ve Misdiagnosed Your Illness or Injuries

It might be time to speak to an injury lawyer in Dallas or even seek a second opinion if you believe your doctor has misdiagnosed your injury or illness. Many signs can point to this being the case. Your condition might not be improving with the treatment they’ve provided. Sometimes, your doctor isn’t running tests or exams to reach an accurate conclusion.

You might even wonder if you’ve been misdiagnosed if your condition shares symptoms with others that seem more fitting. If your doctor fails to hear your concerns and consider other possibilities for your illness, you are within your rights to take action and fight for your right to better healthcare outcomes. 

They’re Ignoring Your Input

You might not be a medical professional, but you know your body and the signs and symptoms that show something isn’t right. Whether you suspect an illness or an injury, you deserve to voice your concerns and have your doctor take them seriously. Expressing your thoughts often helps doctors reach an accurate conclusion, and they shouldn’t be dismissed. 

They Don’t Communicate Well

Communication is important for everything from productivity and leadership to relationships. It’s also crucial in the healthcare sector to ensure nothing is missed so patients receive the care they deserve.

Sadly, not all doctors are good communicators. Ultimately, this can have a detrimental impact on patients. You might not be receiving the healthcare you deserve if your doctor doesn’t listen well, explain things in ways you understand, or they dismiss your concerns. If they have diagnosed your illness, you might notice poor communication if they don’t explain treatments and outcomes. 

A lack of communication can affect you directly, particularly when you’re unsure how best to manage your condition. However, it can also impact the people your doctor works with. If they can’t relay basic information to you, there are no guarantees they’re passing on vital information to other healthcare providers to help you and other patients. 

They’re Poorly Organized

We can’t all be masters of organization. Still, it’s one of the many crucial skills for all medical professionals. Without it, patient outcomes can suffer. Fortunately, it can often be easy for the average patient to notice if their doctor is poorly organized. You can then make a well-informed choice about receiving care elsewhere or seeking a second opinion. 

If their office appears disorganized and they seem flustered each time you see them, this can be a warning sign. However, you might also be experiencing missed or extremely late appointments and even misplaced records. 

Poor disorganization might not seem like it could affect your care, but it might. Poorly organized doctors might be more likely to write vague notes, lose important information, or fail to ensure you receive the healthcare you need. 

They Lack Empathy

Having empathy means that someone has the capacity to feel what someone else is experiencing. In layperson’s terms, it’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. While this soft skill might not seem like it’s important, it can be. A desirable outcome might rely on your access to an empathetic healthcare team. 

A British Journal of General Practice systematic review identified a strong connection between physician empathy and patient satisfaction. Empathy also lowers anxiety and distress levels and has the potential to ensure significantly better clinical outcomes. If your doctor doesn’t show understanding or compassion for your condition or situation, you may not be receiving the patient-centered care you deserve. 

They Overprescribe Medication

There will undoubtedly be times when you require medication to feel better or solve a medical problem. For example, doctors might prescribe pain medication for a sore back to help you feel relief. However, prescribing medication isn’t all they should be doing. 

They should also be trying to diagnose the cause of that pain to help you experience relief without prescription reliance. In the case of a sore back, the best doctors would provide pain-relieving techniques and possibly order scans or X-rays to identify any apparent causes. 

If you keep leaving your doctor’s office with prescription letters and no real answers, you might not be receiving the patient care you deserve. Now might be the right time to consider a second opinion. 

Your Appointments Are Rushed

There’s no denying that doctors must follow a schedule with a set number of minutes for each appointment. However, that schedule shouldn’t disrupt patient care. You shouldn’t feel rushed when attending your appointments. Your doctor also shouldn’t make decisions for your care based on their available time. You might not be receiving the excellent care you deserve if you feel like your doctor spent more time clock-watching than listening to your concerns.   

They Don’t Follow Up

Doctors get busy, and it’s often not standard practice to follow up with their patients for common ailments like colds, flus, and muscle strains. However, your recovery journey is important if you’ve been receiving ongoing treatment or have recently had surgery. The more insight they have into it, the more proactive they can be in planning any follow-up treatments. 

If you never receive follow-up communication and have to make those calls yourself, this can be a red flag. The best doctors will not only follow up on your progress, but they’ll also schedule follow-up appointments to potentially improve your chances of better healthcare outcomes

You deserve to go to a doctor with an illness, injury, or concern and receive high-quality care from start to finish. However, that’s not everyone’s experience. If you can relate to these situations above, it might be time to request a second opinion or even consider legal action in some cases.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.