The other day I emailed a number of patients whom I haven't seen in a while to check on how they are feeling and to wish them a happy and healthy holiday season.
One of my patients responded that he was feeling great from his original foot injury, but that he had injured his shoulder a while ago in the gym. Regarding the doctor who evaluated him, he wrote the following: "Unfortunately, I ended up getting sucked into their insurance and health care system and could not easily go outside for PT, even though I'd have preferred to come to you."
I am certainly not writing this to pat myself on the back because he wanted to come back to work with me. Rather, I want to remind you that it is YOUR choice when it comes to picking a health care provider! I have heard this same story many times in the past, and I find it very frustrating. I fully recognize that insurance companies play a big role in steering you towards in-network providers. But your doctor ought to provide you with referrals without leaving you thinking you have no other choice. Ideally, you have a good enough relationship with your primary care doctor that you trust his/her recommendations.
If you ever find yourself in a position where you feel corned to go see a specific referral, please ask questions. Let your doctor know that you know better, and that it's ultimately up to YOU to decide from whom you seek care.