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Can My Doctor Fire Me?

   
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QUESTION

Can my doctor fire me? I ask this because I have an endocrinologist, and at my last visit, I told him that even though he says my thyroid levels are entirely normal, I simply do not feel well. I asked if we could try Armour Thyroid. He laughed at me and said that he would never prescribe "old-fashioned pig thyroid." I said that I really wanted to try the Armour, but he refused. Two days later, I received a formal letter in the mail saying that I needed to find another endocrinologist. Can he do this? What should I do? -- Taylor

DR. MARIE SAVARD ANSWERS

It sounds like you may want to find another doctor as well. Good family doctors are trained to manage thyroid disease too and your family doctor may be willing to give Armour Thyroid a try. If you come to them prepared and knowledgeable on the subject, even suggesting a possible dose, it will be a big help.

As to your current endocrinologist - yes, doctors can stop caring for a patient if they believe that their is a problem in the relationship that would hinder their future care. They must give patients advance notice and recommendations about who else is available. They must give you copies of your medical records as well. It sounds like your doctor is threatened by your challenging questions and believes that for thyroid disease the blood test tells all. You obviously know and deserve better. Go for it! (August, 2002)

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Marie Savard, M.D. is an internationally known internist and women’s health expert, author and champion for patient rights and responsibilities. She is the founder of The Savard System and author of two highly acclaimed books, How to Save Your Own Life: The Savard System for Managing and Controlling Your Healthcare and The Savard Health Record: a six-step system for managing your health care. For more information from Dr. Savard, read: For more information on Marie Savard's books, The Savard Health Record: A Six Step System for Managing Your Healthcare, and How to Save Your Own Life: Dr. Savard's Nine Steps to Getting the Healthcare You Really Need, see http://www.thyroid-info.com/savard.htm.

Dr. Marie Savard's website is located at www.drsavard.com.

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