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A woman stands firmly, supported by her friend next to her, as she speaks to her doctor.

When You Don’t Trust the Doctor 

If there is anyone on the planet you should have confidence in, it’s your doctor. What can you do when you don’t trust the doctor? After a move to another city, I was assigned to a doctor that was stiff with me, and a little uppity. In the end, I got into a fight (shouting match) in his office. He was arrogant, I was crying, shaking, and could barely drive. I wondered if it was just me. I wanted to feel safe with my doctor. It was a terrible month for me while I worked through firing him and then the struggle of finding another provider.

Working with a doctor you trust depends on a lot of different factors, but in most cases, there are options available to you. Here are some tips for when your instincts are telling you that something is not right with your doctor and patient relationship.

Bring an objective outsider

When dealing with liver disease from hep C, it may be good to take a friend or family member back to the doctor visit with you. In some cases, if you are really sick, your thoughts may be a little off from brain fog or hepatic encephalopathy.

Tell the truth

If there is truly a reason to believe that you are not being treated fairly, tell your doctor first. Perhaps there is a problem with stigma. Bring it up. Ask the doctor if they have a problem treating hep C patients. Tell them you want a fair shake. If you’ve had a problem with being compliant with your doctor’s orders, ask for a second chance. If the doctor is willing to work on the relationship, give them an opportunity to try and fix the problem. You may need to file a complaint if there were ethical violations.

Calling it quits

If there is no chance of repairing the relationship, request a copy of your records, and find another doctor. Ask around in your community for referrals. Talk to your insurance company.


If your trusted friend or family member feels like you’re being treated poorly, believe them. If they think it may be you – rethink the whole problem of brain fog. Telling the truth up front may disarm your medical provider. They are probably used to people just clamming up and suffering in silence. Working toward an alliance of trust is something the doctor and you both have to work on in order to move forward. Finding another doctor is never easy. When I had to do that, it totally shook me up. Take deep breaths and try to stay calm through the process of finding, and beginning a new relationship with a different doctor and staff.

Some of this may be hard to swallow, but it’s all straight from my heart, and from my personal experience. I have placed absolute trust in my doctors, and I have also been treated very poorly and felt powerless. I’ve worked through the emotional and physical trials of making it work, and you can too. I hope this advice will help you when you don’t trust the doctor.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.