Reply To: Stubborn doctor: what can I do?

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It sounds like you’ve already been doing a lot to try to advocate for yourself. She may just be too set in her own opinions to hear your voice. A lot of doctors view themselves as the experts and don’t trust us to know our own needs.

Some questions that you may ask her if you haven’t already:
– What would be a sign to you that I wasn’t doing well?
– You say that you think the medication is helping. What do you think it is helping with? From your perspective, what have you noticed that’s better? What have you noticed that’s worse?
– I’m having a real hard time with the pain and muscle issues that I’m facing. If you don’t think a medication change is warranted, what would you suggest as alternatives?
– Hypothetically, if we were to change medications, what would my options be? Do you think any of them would be worth trying? We could always go back to the current medications if they don’t help.
– I feel frustrated. I feel like I’ve been trying to express concerns to you but I don’t feel like those are being validated or truly heard. It would be helpful to me if you would reflect back to me what my concerns are as you understand them, and also if you would be willing to work on alternative ideas to help me.
– I understand the things you’re saying about being kind to myself and trying to do the other things you suggest. I am doing those, but I’m still having these issues. What else can we do together to address this? The things I’m doing on my own aren’t enough. And I don’t know that the medication is where it needs to be to make things easier.

I’m guessing you’ve tried variants of most of that. In the end, you may not be able to change the doctor’s mind. You may have to look for an alternative provider. But at least you can be direct about your feelings, your wants, your needs, and your expectations.