It is difficult to disagree with a doctor.
We have all spent our lives being socially conditioned to see doctors are miracle workers– which, the vast majority of the time, they are. However, if you have a health complaint and find your symptoms dismissed by a doctor, you can suddenly find your long-held beliefs very heavily challenged.
Below is everything you need to know about questioning a lack of diagnosis; essentially, what you should do if your doctor insists you are well, but you disagree. Read on to learn how to handle this situation, as well as exploring what your options are…
Be wary when discussing female issues
Sadly, it’s a simple fact of life: women’s pain and illnesses are not taken as seriously as they should be. Endometriosis, for example, tends to take 10 visits to a doctor before it is diagnosed, and women with other female-specific issues tend to experience similar issues.
If you have a female-specific health complaint, then you may need to prepare yourself to be more forthright. When discussing the issue, don’t talk in terms of pain or discomfort; talk about how the issue is impacting your life. There is a tendency for doctors to underestimate female pain, so you need to showcase the other disruptions your symptoms are causing.
Ask your doctor about the situation again
Everyone can make a mistake once, so you should give your doctor the chance to rectify the issue. Make a second appointment and carefully explain why you are concerned. It’s also beneficial if you have an idea of what you want your doctor to do about the situation (such as referring for tests or prescribing medication). You might get the same result, but you tried, and that’s important.
Get a second opinion
You are entitled to ask for a second opinion for any medical diagnosis (or lack thereof) that you disagree with. You can either ask to see another GP at your surgery or use a Dr app online to discuss the issue. These conversations should shed some light on your issue from a new perspective; if one doctor says all sounds fine, that might be an oversight, but if two or more agree, it might be worth listening.
Get the evidence
If you are truly convinced that you have a medical condition that is going undiagnosed, then it may be best to try and obtain the evidence you need for treatment. Private clinics are expensive, but they can conduct diagnostic testing, the results of which you can then take back to your GP. With hard facts in front of them, your doctor will not be able to deny your problems, and should hopefully then help with the resolution.
Of course, not all illnesses can be tested for. If you are concerned about a non-tested illness, then you may want to find a private consultant who specialises in that ailment. Again, this is expensive, but it’s a suitable choice if previous options have not elicited the response you feel you need.
There are times when you may be convinced you are suffering from a malady without actual cause, so your doctor is right to insist you are fine. However, if you have continued symptoms or don’t feel you have been appropriately listened to, then it might be wise to consider exploring the options above.
*This is a collaborative post. Please refer to my disclosure page for further information.