Tips on Finding a Doctor

Whether your doctor is a family doctor or a specialist (like a gastroenterologist), there are certain qualities to look for to help you get the care you need for your constipation.

Here is a checklist of questions to consider:

  • Is your doctor sympathetic? Does he or she listen carefully as you explain your symptoms? Does he or she understand the real impact of constipation on your life? If you feel your doctor thinks your symptoms are trivial or “all in your head,” it’s time to move on.
  • Does your doctor spend the time needed to explain and discuss your constipation?
  • Does your doctor order many tests, but fail to explain the reason for them and the meaning of their results?
  • Does your doctor regularly order medicines or diets without explanation of their risks and benefits?
  • Are you able to get an appointment within a reasonable time?
  • Is your doctor usually available, or do you often see a stand-in who is unfamiliar with your case?
  • Does your doctor seem knowledgeable about your illness, yet willing to seek a specialist’s advice for difficult issues?

Perhaps most importantly, does the doctor inspire your confidence? Are you able to establish a good relationship? Constipation can be a long-term condition that will likely take twists and turns over time. You will be best served by a doctor who is your partner through this.

No doctor is perfect, but the answers to the above questions should help you decide. Remember, you are not married to your doctor. It is your right to find a new one and have your complete medical record transferred. On the other hand, too many changes can work against you.

More Finding a Doctor Topics

Looking for a Provider? Helpful links:

Adapted from IFFGD publication: I Have a Gut Problem: Which Doctor Should I See? By W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCP(C), Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Share this page
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Topics of this article
Was this article helpful?

IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting IFFGD with a small tax-deductible donation.

Related Information
Treatment of Constipation

Treatment help – Treatment of chronic constipation is best managed by first determining the underlying cause. While there may be several contributing factors, the 3

Read More »
Diagnosis of Constipation

Consulting a Doctor for Evaluation The most important step by the physician in the evaluation of constipation in an individual is to obtain a complete

Read More »
Personal Stories
Treatment of Constipation

Treatment help – Treatment of chronic constipation is best managed by first determining the underlying cause. While there may be several contributing factors, the 3

Read More »
Diagnosis of Constipation

Consulting a Doctor for Evaluation The most important step by the physician in the evaluation of constipation in an individual is to obtain a complete

Read More »