Getting fired from your pain doctor may or may not be your fault. What I mean by that is it could be you were out of town and had a car accident necessitating an Emergency Room Visit with narcotics involved. It could be that your medications were stolen by a family member, and you are not the kind of person to get the police involved with the necessary police report per your pain management agreement.
Or it may be completely your fault and you “cheated” by getting pain medications from two separate doctors and got caught. Whichever the reason, now you still have chronic pain and no one to help right?
Here’s some tips for finding and keeping a new pain doctor.
1) Obtain your complete medical records. You are entitled to them, but it may take a bit of legwork and persistence to obtain them since you are leaving on a bad note. You will need these records to make it easy on your new doctor. You will not exactly be in the driver’s seat after being fired.
2) Try and find a pain doctor who works in a comprehensive center. Meaning their surgery center is on-site, and they offer additional services such as chiropractic and PT. The objective is to lower the dosing on your medications so these additional treatments can help.
3) Do not lie to the new doctor when meeting with him or her. You just came off a bad experience, why start immediately on bad footing that is dishonest? With pain management doctors being under a microscope by state medical boards and the DEA, there is minimal patience for someone who lies about their medications.
4) Do not use illicit drugs. I’m not talking about medical marijuana, although that may be a factor in whether or not you would be accepted by a new pain doctor (and also maybe why you got fired in the first place). I’m talking about heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, etc. Understand? Your new pain doctor will be drug testing you as is the norm these days. It would be a waste of your time and the doctor to pop positive for one of these substances on the first visit.
5) If you have insurance, use it. One of the distrust factors in pain patients comes in when they use insurance for one doctor and cash for another. It is a red flag and is one of the top drug seeking behaviors.
6) Be flexible in your pain medication needs. What I mean by this is when you see your new doctor, do not be overly insistent on a specific medication at a specific dose. This can be another red flag for drug seeking behavior. If you are seeing a board certified, fellowship trained pain management doctor, do you really want to question too much the wisdom of that doctor’s experience?
7) The last and most important tip is to simply be very very nice and respectful at all times of the doctor and staff. Pain management patients can be very difficult to work with due to the complexities of the individual’s condition. Making things complex for the doctor is one thing, that’s typically what he or she likes is mental stimulation and helping people. Being downright rude will ruin the trust and relationship from developing. You will get fired again, and that includes being mean and disrespectful of the office staff.
8) Show up for your appointments. Too many missed appointments will cause you to get fired (again). It is disrespectful, especially with no advance warning to the office. Put yourself in their shoes, they are setting aside time to help. Show up for your doctor visits, procedures, and therapy, and get better!