Community Views: What to Avoid in a Cardiologist

Last updated: December 2021

For every great cardiologist, there is at least one that is not so great. When searching for a cardiologist, it is equally important to know which qualities to look for as well as which ones to avoid.

To find out more about this topic, we reached out to community members on the Heart-Failure.net Facebook page. We asked you to share: “What are you looking to avoid in a cardiologist?”

Here is a look at some of the responses we received.

Uses one-size-fits-all solution

Some cardiologists do not see patients as individuals. Instead, they have a tendency to prescribe the same treatment of care for the majority of the people they see. If a doctor is not taking the time to learn all the details of your case, it is possible that your treatment plan is not as personalized as it could be.

“Do NOT use an assembly-line mentality with treatment and care.”

“One that does not prescribe just to prescribe unless a medication is truly needed.”

Passes you off to other staff

People book appointments with a cardiologist to see that specific doctor, not their staff. While staff like nurses and physician assistants play a key role in your care, it is important to get in-person, face-to-face time with the expert you have elected to see.

“A great cardiologist makes sure to actually see their patient and does not solely rely on the nurse practitioner or on phone-nurse evaluations.”

“One who does not turn you over to a nurse practitioner for your follow-up from your ablation.”

Talks over your head

It is critical that your cardiologist explains things to you in language you understand. It is okay to speak up and ask questions when they use words you do not know. If your doctor continues to communicate in doctor-speak, it may be worth exploring your options. After all, it is very difficult to follow a treatment plan you do not understand.

“One who does not talk over your head and does not assume we understand what came out of his mouth.”

Dismisses your questions and concerns

When a doctor is dismissive, it is easy to assume they are the expert and what we wanted to share or ask was not relevant. This is not so. If a doctor is dismissive, it is dangerous. If there is something you want to tell or ask your cardiologist, you have every right to share and be heard. What you want to say may very well save your life.

“Is not dismissive.”

“Left the second one because he told me not to worry about the tachycardia I get at night, which landed me in the hospital.”

Is afraid of complicated cases

Not every cardiologist has the confidence or energy to take on complicated cases. Doctors, like anyone in any line of work, experience burnout too. If you feel like your cardiologist is not stepping up to meet the challenges of your case, it may help to ask around for referrals.

“Not afraid of complicated cases but sees those patients as a challenge. He or she has a genuine drive to find ways to make life easier.”

Does only what insurance will cover

You, not your insurance provider, should make the ultimate call regarding what your treatment looks like. If there is a treatment option that is expensive or not covered by your insurance, it still warrants a discussion. You deserve to know all your options.

“One who listens to their patient and not the insurance the patient might have.”

Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences for this story. It is our hope that others in the community feel seen and validated, and that your responses help them find the best course of treatment for them.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Heart-Failure.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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