Finding a good urologist to treat your IC is important and can make a huge difference in your success rate. Sometimes, though, even a urologist who worked well for you at first may no longer be a good fit. There are a few red flags that may mean you should consider moving on and finding someone new.
1. Your urologist keeps you waiting and then rushes your appointment.
Of course, doctors will have emergencies come up sometimes that make their schedules run behind. But if your doctor is consistently late and you regularly end up waiting an hour or more to see your urologist and then are rushed through the appointment, it might be time to move on.(1)
2. Your urologist doesn’t want you to ask questions.
When it comes to IC, there isn’t one treatment that works for all and there are multiple self-help components as well. If your urologist isn’t open to you asking questions about any of it, then he or she may not be the best fit for you. The bottom line is the urologist actually works for you as you’re paying for your care, so he or she needs to be open to answering the questions you have.(2)
3. Your urologist doesn’t explain what he or she is doing.
Beyond explaining what they are doing throughout a procedure, good urologists explain to their patients why they are trying certain treatments or doing certain tests. Many prescriptions used to treat IC are off-label use. Understanding why your urologist is prescribing something like an anti-histamine for your IC treatment is important; he or she should tell you what they’re thinking.(1)
4. Your urologist only uses medical terminology.
While your urologist should explain what he or she is doing in your treatment plan, he or she should also do so in a way that is easy to understand. Many IC patients have done a lot of their own research and may be familiar with some common terms in the IC world like frequency and urgency, but there are many other terms that aren’t as familiar. No medical professional should constantly talk over your head in a way that is difficult for an average person to understand.(3)
5. You and your urologist just don’t connect.
Your urologist isn’t supposed to be your best friend, but he or she should be someone you at least like well enough and, most importantly, trust. If your urologist is completely off-putting to you so that you don’t trust him or her, it is time to find a new one.(4)
6. Your treatment isn’t working, and your urologist doesn’t care.
Treating IC is a whole lot of trial and error. But if your urologist isn’t finding something that works for you and has stopped trying, it’s time to at least get a second opinion.(4)
7. Your urologist doesn’t listen to you.
If your urologist consistently doesn’t listen to you or blows off your health concerns, then it’s time to move on. IC patients have struggled for years to get acknowledgement of their symptoms, but some urologists still insist their patients can’t possibly be feeling the way their patients are telling them they feel.(1)
8. Your urologist relies too heavily on prescriptions.
Prescription medications are incredibly helpful and should be an option that your talk about with your urologist. However, if he or she will only talk about prescription treatments and no other self-help or alternative therapies for treating IC symptoms then it may be time to move on. Many IC patients have found much success outside of traditional prescriptions.(2)
9. Your urologist is hard to get in to see.
Good urologists often have busy schedules, but once you are a patient of a urologist, you should be able to get in touch with him or her for urgent situations, such as a suspected UTI. If your urologist is constantly unavailable or can only see you when you book eight months ahead of time, it might be time to move on and find someone else.(3)
10. Your urologist is applying too much pressure for certain treatments.
If you feel like your urologist is pressuring you to take medications or undergo treatments you aren’t comfortable with, you could be with the wrong urologist. Because IC is so different for each patient, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Urologists should have a basic path of treatment they try but they also shouldn’t be pressuring you to undergo a treatment that feels wrong to you, especially without explaining it.(4)
11. Your urologist’s staff is unprofessional.
The staff at a urologist’s office is often your first line of contact and help. If the staff is unhelpful or unprofessional, it may be time to move on, even if the urologist is fine. If you can’t get past the receptionist to talk with the nurse about a problem, you aren’t going to get the help you need. If the nurse won’t forward your concerns to the urologist or loses prescription refill requests, then you also aren’t going to get the help you need.(1)
12. Your urologist is rude or condescending.
Urologists spend many years in medical school and go through all sorts of training to learn their profession. However, you are still the expert when it comes to your own body and how it feels. Your urologist should never make you feel stupid or like he or she is above you in any way.(1)
13. Your urologist doesn’t work with your other doctors.
IC has many other conditions that tend to go along with it like fibromyalgia and endometriosis. As such, your urologist may need to send results or treatment plans to your other doctors, including your family doctor. If he or she is unwilling to do so, then it may be time to move on and find someone who will be involved in your total care plan.(1)
14. Your urologist doesn’t share results with you.
Just like your urologist should explain why he or she is trying treatments for you or putting you through certain tests, he or she should also share any test results with you. If your urologist is hesitating to tell you what a test showed then moving on may be best.(1)
15. You don’t feel you can be open with your urologist.
Talking about your bathroom issues, your bladder and “personal area” can be awkward and embarrassing. If your urologist makes you feel so uncomfortable that you can’t be honest about your symptoms and what is going on, then you won’t get the best treatment you can. Urologists spend their days talking about pee and all sorts of other embarrassing issues, but if yours isn’t creating an environment where you can share what’s going on, then it may be time to look for a new urologist.(3)
If you’ve decided now is the time to break up with your urologist, be sure to check out 10 Tips for Finding a Good Urologist.
- Haupt et al. 12 Signs You Should Fire Your Doctor. U.S. News & World Report. Jan. 25, 2018.
- Mulcahy L. 9 Signs It’s Time To Break Up With Your Doctor. Self.com. April 7, 2016.
- Varn M. How Do You Know When It’s Time to Find a New Doctor? Pinnacle Care. Dec. 5, 2017.
- Thompson H. 9 Signs That You Need a New Doctor. Market Watch. July 2, 2018.