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Time For a New Doctor to
Treat/Manage your Chronic Pain?

Are you happy with your doctor that is treating or managing your chronic pain? Maybe you are unsure if you should be looking for a new pain doctor? You need to think about making this change very carefully and if you decide to go through with it never make this decision quickly. Take the time to weigh different factors. But also remember, you're the one that's responsible for making the journey from patient to active person!

So how do you know when the time is right to look for a new doctor?

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Your pain is NOT under control!

  2. Your doctor is NOT a Pain Management Specialist.
    If you are being treated by your family doctor, an orthopedic surgeon or a neurologist and your pain is NOT under control then you may want to consider finding a Pain Management Specialist (or if necessary a NEW Pain Management Specialist).  After the first 3 Pain Management Specialists weren't able to control my pain, I continued to look for one that understood me and my pain.

  3. Your doctor doesn't believe you have pain or that the pain is in your head.
    Do you find your doctor thinks your symptoms are due to age, stress or hormones? Does your doctor make you feel that your pain is in your head & is not real?

  4. Your doctor doesn't remember much about you from visit to visit or doesn't pay attention or listen to you.
    Do you notice that your doctor is not listening to you or paying attention to you? Does he continue to ask you questions that you have already answered?  Is he constantly being interrupted by his staff? If you get the feeling that your doctor doesn't remember you from one visit to the next.  If you find you have to remind your doctor where you hurt, what medications you are taking (even though he/she prescribed them), what procedures he/she may have performed on you.

  5. Your doctor doesn't believe in alternative treatments.
    Does your doctor believe in alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy or supplements? Remember combining different therapies definitely help most chronic pain sufferers break their pain cycles. 

  6. Your doctor refuses to discuss any information that you bring to your appointment or any of your ideas.
    Does your doctor refuse to discuss ANY information you found on the Internet (even if the information is from a respected medical source such as the National Library of Medicine) or from a friend or family member? If you inquire about a new medication, increasing or decreasing your medicine or even asking if you it would be better to take your medicine 4 times/day instead of 3 times/day and your doctor refuses to discuss it with you or just blows you off.

  7. Your doctor refuses to refer you to a specialist.
    If you feel it is time for you to see a different doctor or a pain management specialist and your doctor says no and won't even tell you why. If he says no way to a 2nd opinion.

  8. Your doctor is rude, arrogant, or inconsiderate to you or a family member.

  9. Your doctorís staff is frequently rude or unreliable. Are you struggling to get medication refills in a timely manner!
    If the doctor's staff makes you feel that you are unimportant and are rude.  Does it take them forever to return your call or give your message to the doctor?  Do your medication refills get handled in a timely manner, or do you always have to fight for your refills?

  10. Your doctor refuses to cooperate with other healthcare professionals as part of your healthcare team.
    Is your doctor unwilling to discuss your case with your Physical Therapist or other providers in your Healing Circle?

Should you Switch Doctors?

  • You have to decide what is the most important to you.

  • If your doctor thinks your pain is not real, I would think it is time to look for a new pain management doctor.

  • If you don't have a pain management specialist, but a family doctor who is afraid of providing enough medication to provide pain relief for your neck and back pain, it may be time to switch.

  • Should you look for a new doctor if even one of these signs is true of your doctor?
    Not necessarily. If you like your doctor and he is controlling your pain or at least working in that direction that their may be no reason for switching. If youíre not interested in alternative treatments, then it probably doesn't matter to you what your doctor thinks about them. On the other hand, if you doctor doesnít believe youíre really sick, itís definitely time to find a new doctor.

  • Remember, Just like everything in life you will never find a perfect doctor. A doctor that is controlling your pain, may not be the best pain management doctor for your friend or family member.

  • You are in the driver's is ultimately your decision! Just remember that you deserve the best healthcare you can get. If youíre not happy with the way you are treated in every which way, you need to consider if it is time to look elsewhere.

So, Which Kind of Doctors Treat Chronic Pain?

There are actually several different kind of doctors that treat chronic pain. To find out which kind of doctor is best for you check out my article on What Types of Doctors Treat Chronic Pain?. I highly recommend that you see a pain management specialist as these doctors treat chronic pain on a daily basis and what they care about is that your chronic pain is under control!


Never fire your existing pain doctor before you have been accepted by a new one! You never want to get left in the cold with no one to refill your prescriptions as this can be very dangerous for your health!!!!

Chronic Pain by Karen Lee Richards
Health A-Z by Melissa Tennen
"Get Knowledge, Get Tools, Get Active"
Kirkland, WA  
Phone: 425-820-2600

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