Time for a new GP?

I've had the same GP for about 15 years, Kaiser, so it's not like he really knows me. As typical with Kaiser he's not great about being proactive (I'm over 50) with things like recommending annual bloodwork, (or any kind of screening really) etc. but I felt comfortable enough with him and generally when I'd ask to explore something he'd agree.

In March my brother was diagnosed with a serious condition that I could have also inherited, and his doctor said all siblings should be tested. My GP acted kind of like he wasn't sure what i meant (it was a pretty clear exchange) and then said I should wait to be evaluated (ultrasound) until things 'calmed down,' so I waited until this month to be checked. Thank God I did not inherit the condition, but my liver was found to be larger than normal. I'll say at the outset I'm NOT a drinker at all and have a pretty healthy lifestyle.

He never bothered to email me after the test, and only sent the form letter with the test results, no commentary. When I emailed to ask him if the hepatomegaly is something I should be concerned about (heck I'm not a doctor but WebMD says it is a possible symptom of things like hepatitis, liver disease, heart failure, even cancer), like maybe I should be tested for hepatitis (because I have been super fatigued) he basically said I'd been tested for hepatitis 7 years ago (don't even remember that) and would I like a new test? That was it.

Is it time for a new GP? Look I get that doctors are worn out, I mean, he's not doing rounds or anything but he's probably pretty busy and has a life of his own, but am I right to expect just a bit more ....care....from him?

I kind of feel like this was the breaking point in the relationship. Maybe it's not a big deal to have an enlarged liver, but would it kill him to have a conversation with me about it? Be curious about it? My husband seems to have an excellent, proactive GP who is in family practice and I'm thinking of making the switch....am I being unrealistic?

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RE: Time for a new GP? ()

Actually, your GP sounds like just about every doctor I've had.  I also dream of having a GP who takes just a little more interest than the bare minimum.  I think it must be the way they are trained or the stress of the job.  Please let us know the name of your husband's GP.  I might want to see if this is someone covered by my plan...

RE: Time for a new GP? ()

Yes, switch doctors.  I have Kaiser and my doctor is very proactive, so I don't think it's Kaiser per se.  You can look at the online biographies and statements of Kaiser doctors accepting new patients, and it's easy to switch.  Or if you like your husband's doctor, then that seems like a good choice too.

RE: Time for a new GP? ()

You're not being unrealistic.I'd say that your recent exchanges/interactions with this doctor have been sub-par (and I'm a nurse practitioner). If your husband likes his GP then just have him message that doctor and ask him/her to add you to their practice. It's quite simple. People change GPs all the time, especially at Kaiser. There are so many to choose from, don't waste time with anyone you don't trust or even don't "click with". Or if you don't want the same practitioner as your husband, I can recommend Nancy Palmer, MD at Kaiser Oakland - she's in Family Medicine and I would definitely call her both approachable and proactive. She always remembers me and is good with follow-up. Call the number on the back of your card and just say you want to switch GPs. Good luck!

RE: Time for a new GP? ()

I think it's time to look around.  Maybe you could do yelp, or ask on BPN, or some other way to get patients' opinions.  Or just go to your husband's GP.  My friend who is a Kaiser baby has gotten excellent care there, because she has only had good doctors, because they were all recommended by her current doctor (e.g. her pediatrician recommended her doctor.  her doctor recommended her specialists).  I found they are not all the same, when I was in Kaiser.  I hope you look around and find a better doctor!

RE: Time for a new GP? ()

Some Kaiser PCPs are more proactive and helpful than others. That said, they are overworked - office visits are every 15 mins including typing up notes, expected to answer emails by certain deadline, and expected to meet other quotas. Yours sound a little lackluster though with little followup. The lab results should always be accompanied with a message from your doctor indicating that the results were seen and what the plan of care should be.  You are not happy and you don't trust him to provide the care that you need. I would switch to another PCP. 

RE: Time for a new GP? ()

Just a correction. As a PCP at Kaiser Oakland, I can tell you that our appointments are not every 15 minutes. That said, your doctor should give you adequate explanations about your test results so I agree with other posters that you should switch doctors.