You're the Boss
It's easy to defer to your doctor when it comes to medical problems. After all, your doctor is the trained professional who knows the fancy five-syllable words. And in reality, he may know considerably more than you do about how your thyroid functions, the diagnostic tools you need to pinpoint the problem, and what you need to get well. On the other hand, if you've been doing your research, your knowledge may surpass your physician's.
The bottom line is this: If you don't like the way a doctor handles your care, you have the right to demand better treatment — or to go to another doctor. It's ultimately up to you whether you'll use that person's services.
Being in charge also means you have to be assertive about what you want and need. So if you've always felt uncomfortable talking to your primary care doctor or disliked the staff that made your appointments and took your phone calls, now is the time to do something and find someone new.
The key to spearheading any team — sports, corporate, or health care — is knowing what you want. In this case, you should figure out what you want from your health-care providers. Do you want someone whose office hours match your work hours? Does the office location make a difference? Do you prefer young doctors fresh out of medical school or doctors who've been in practice for several years? The answers to these questions can help you zero in on the doctors who will make up your team.
If you've just been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, make sure you schedule a follow-up visit a few weeks after your first visit. Anticipate regular visits after that, so your doctor can check whether the medications are working. Regular visits to your doctor are now a part of your routine, and critical to your health and well-being. Some doctors will also follow up by e-mail or phone.