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Why I fired my pulmonologist

Why I Fired My Pulmonologist

In April of 2017, my family and I moved from Southern California to the Midwest. My husband and I both were born and raised in Southern California and this was a huge move for us and our three children.  While we were all very excited to move, I was completely devastated at the thought of having to start all over with an entirely new medical team. I had been with the same primary care doctor for 20 years, and pulmonologist whom I adored equally for over 10 years.  Both of them were just so fantastic and knew my lungs better than I did.  They were great at communicating with each other about me when necessary and I am very thankful for that.

Search for a new doctor

Once we were settled in our new home in the Midwest, I started researching doctors within a reasonable travel distance and asked my new coworkers in the hospital for recommendations. I selected my new primary care doctor and felt like I hit the jackpot.  He is kind, caring, accessible and just so great!  My new pulmonologist wasn’t horrible at all.  She was very nice but we just didn’t mesh well. I needed there to be more communication with both myself and my primary doctor which just wasn’t happening no matter how many times I asked for it. I wanted to make it work and I stuck it out for a year, having follow up appointments every 4-6 months.  After speaking with my primary doctor about my frustrations with my pulmonologist he suggested I switch to a different one. I had a good deal of guilt when I finally made the call to change to a different pulmonologist after procrastinating for a couple weeks.  I was pretty bummed to start the process of getting to know a new doctor all over again but I was also optimistic that I was making the right decision to switch.

Changing doctors is stressful

I’ll admit I was nervous when I went to my first appointment with my new pulmonologist. Being that they were in the same office, I was hoping he wouldn’t ask me why I wanted to switch from my other one to him.  He did ask why and I was totally honest with him about why.  To my surprise, he was completely understanding and said it happens and they don’t take it personally.  I spent over an hour in his office going over my entire asthma history and he was very thorough and answered all of my questions.  He assured me that he would keep an open line of communication with both myself and my primary doctor.  I left that appointment with a smile on my face and an updated asthma action plan.  I am so glad I switched.

What it comes down to is that if you aren’t satisfied with your current doctor it is okay to change.  We are our own best advocates and it is not worth it to not have a medical team who is supporting you in the ways that you need. Our lungs deserve the best and it is up to us to give them the best!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    7 months ago

    Great article! I fired a pulmonologist once and for the same reason as you describe here. Sometimes you just don’t mesh with your doctor and it’s definitely okay to move on. But, definitely not easy to do, though. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s always neat when we asthmatics can relate. John. Site Moderator.

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