Can care suffer if a patient sees several doctors in a practice as opposed to one?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 18, 2016
Ivy43 asked...

My patient has been going to the clinic for all of his medical needs. The doctors seem to be raising his insulin,even though his blood sugar levels are not as high as they believe that they are. Secondly,he is currently taking seven different medications,and he is beginning to feel that he is being overdosed. Is this possible,because he does not have a doctor that was specifically assigned to him?

Expert Answers

Thanks for your question. It seems you're saying your patient sees different doctors at the same clinic, as opposed to one. Does he always go to the same clinic?  If he always goes to the same clinic, he should have one file or set of medical records there; which all doctors use and consult.  This should help with consistency of care. Nevertheless, I have a couple of suggestions. First, bring up your concerns with the clinic manager, pronto. Second, have a list of your patient's medications (including doses, etc), on-hand for the meeting with the manager, and for ALL medical appointments. It's important to keep this list updated or simply bring all his medications to every appointment (many people pack them in a plastic bag). Even if the doctor doesn't ask about medications, pull out the list or bag of meds, and present it --- as a visual reminder.  Finally, it's always helpful to have your own back-up copy of your patient's medical records.  You may need to do the copying yourself; but this is your right. Bring your file to all medical appointments, and update as needed. Yes, this is a hassle, but this way you have a documented paper trail of care. This is especially important if your patient is being seen at different clinics. Every medical provider should be asking your patient's permission to see records from other places (this is a standard "release of information" type form). But just in case there are delays or difficulties in forwarding information from one provider to another, you have your set of records.

In general, sure I think it's probably best for people to see one doctor consistently. But in truth, this rarely happens for many people, and the quality of medical care shouldn't be affected when different doctors are consulting.

Good luck with your situation.