How to Fire Your Healthcare Provider and Find a New One

    No one likes to find themselves at odds with their healthcare provider . It does happen, though.

    Maybe you don’t like their personality or demeanor. Perhaps they have mismanaged or misdiagnosed your health problems, or you don’t see eye-to-eye on treatment approaches.

    DjelicS / Getty Images

    Regardless of the reason, firing your healthcare provider isn’t easy, but it is sometimes your best option.

    This article can help you try to build a better relationship with your healthcare provider, and, if you do decide to get a new one, prevent complications and make a smooth transition.

    Consider Repairing Your Relationship

    If you feel it’s worth trying to fix the relationship with your healthcare provider before you fire them, talk to them about your concerns and clearly articulate why they are problematic for you.

    Suggest positive steps they could take to improve.

    For example, say you don’t feel like your healthcare provider listens to you. Think about what has made you feel like this. Do they dismiss what you say? Talk over you? Fail to make eye contact while you talk?

    Giving them concrete, actionable feedback: “I’d feel more heard if you let me talk without interrupting” is more useful than saying, “You’re not a good listener.”

    If they’re receptive, give them time to make changes. Also be sure that you give them a chance to clear up any misunderstandings.

    If they’re not receptive, or if the problem is something they can’t fix, you may be right about needing to leave.

    Don’t Burn Bridges

    Especially if you don’t have a lot of healthcare providers to choose from in your area, try to separate amicably from your old practitioner. An ugly argument could make it awkward if you have to see or contact this healthcare provider again for some reason.

    Find a New Healthcare Provider First

    You’ve decided you need a new healthcare provider. The next step is to find a new practitioner before breaking the news to the current one so you’re not caught without care.

    It may take months to get in with a new healthcare provider. That’s especially true for specialists.

    Not having a healthcare provider can be a real problem if you:

    • Need prescription refills
    • Have a new problem
    • Need a referral

    You can search for the new one in multiple ways:

    • Get a list of covered providers from your health insurance.
    • Ask friends, family, coworkers, or other healthcare providers for recommendations.
    • Check online ratings.

    When you gather some names, call their office to ask some initial questions that might help you gauge if they are a good fit and can take you on as a patient. For example, if you have insurance, ask if they accept your plan. If you need evening appointments, see if they offer them.

    Then, set up an introductory appointment with the healthcare provider you’re considering switching to. During it, you can ask more specific questions related to whatever is prompting you to look for a new provider.

    For example, if you’re interested in a healthcare provider who is open to incorporating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into your care, ask whether or not they are open to that and have experience with it.

    The entire purpose of this visit is to give you a chance to see if the new healthcare provider is a better match for you.

    Once you’ve selected a healthcare provider, get copies of your medical records or have them sent to the new office ahead of time (if the staff isn’t handling this for you).

    Schedule a Final Visit

    Once you’ve seen your new healthcare provider and are happy with your choice, schedule a final visit with the old practitioner.

    Talk to them about where things stand with:

    • Treatments
    • Pending diagnoses
    • Recent bloodwork
    • Anything else that may be a loose end

    That will help keep things from falling through the cracks.

    Also, ask them for prescription refills that will last until you're able to get them from the new healthcare provider.

    Notifying Your Healthcare Provider

    At that final appointment, it’s your choice whether to discuss your reasons for leaving. You certainly don’t have to. But your feedback may help bring ways patients can be better served to a healthcare provider’s attention.

    If you choose to have this discussion, it can be done in person or during a phone appointment. Or if you’re more comfortable telling your healthcare provider your reasons for leaving in a letter, email, or message through a secure patient portal, then do it that way.

    Anger and frustration can easily make their way into such an exchange. Be conscious of your word choices, tone, and demeanor so that you can express yourself clearly and professionally.


    If you do find yourself unhappy with your healthcare provider, you have every right to ask for changes. If you don’t see positive change, consider finding someone new.

    It’s best to find a new healthcare provider before leaving the old one. That way, you’re not caught without a practitioner while awaiting your first appointment.

    An introductory appointment can help you see whether this healthcare provider is a better fit. If so, schedule a final visit with your old practitioner.

    Use the final visit to tie up loose ends. You may also want to discuss your reason for leaving. Or you might want to send something in writing.

    A Word From Verywell

    Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t have interruptions in your care. Those can have a detrimental impact on your health, especially if you have chronic conditions.

    Everyone deserves medical care they’re happy and comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to make a change if you think it’s in your best interest.

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    How do you fire a letter to a doctor?
    Call the receptionist, the nurse or PA, or the practice manager. Let them know you're leaving the practice and inform them of what you need from them in terms of medical records. You can also send a letter. But whether in person or by letter, just state the facts, to the effect of: “I am leaving the practice. more
    How can a doctor Fire a patient?
    Terminating a patient formally involves written notice—via certified mail, return receipt— to the patient that he/she should find another healthcare provider. Keep all copies of the letter and any other correspondence you may have in the patient's medical record. more
    Can a patient fire their doctor?
    Yes. The patient/physician relationship can be terminated by your doctor when he or she gives you notice and a reasonable opportunity to find substitute care. A doctor can decide whether he or she will provide services to any particular person. more
    How do you write a letter to a doctor?
    Write "Dear Dr." and the doctor's last name on the top line of the letter itself. For example, begin your message with, "Dear Dr. Williams." Use this prefix for those with doctorates, too, unless the person has specifically told you to avoid doing so. more
    How do you ask a doctor for a letter?
    How to Ask a Doctor for a Letter of Recommendation. Introduce yourself to the doctor, and tell them you'd love to shadow them, especially because they are an osteopathic physician. Tell them you want to apply to a DO school and you need a letter of recommendation from a DO. more
    What is a doctor's letter?
    We are aware that patients are often asked to provide a "doctors letter". This may be to document how an illness impacts on a patient's life. For example. exam performance / mitigating circumstances. more
    What should disability letter from doctor say?
    The outlook for your disability, including whether your condition should improve or will worsen with time, and the overall timeframe of the progression or regression of your disability. The symptoms from which you suffer and how those symptoms affect your everyday life, including your ability to work. more
    How do you end a letter to a doctor?
    Add a complimentary closing.
    1. Respectfully,
    2. Respectfully yours,
    3. Sincerely,
    4. Best wishes,
    5. All the best,
    6. Warm regards,
    7. Consider to whom you're writing.
    8. Consider the purpose of the letter.
    Why would a doctor Fire a patient?
    Common reasons for dismissal The most common reasons cited for dismissal were verbal abuse and drug-seeking behavior. Among physicians who dismissed patients, 40% cited verbal abuse and 40% cited drug-seeking behavior as reasons. more
    Can I get a letter from my doctor?
    All letters require the doctor to take time to review a patient's medical records to ensure that the information provided is correct, then the doctor has to dictate the letter, and finally a medical secretary has to type and print it. more
    Do you need a letter from a doctor?
    Can a Patient Write a Letter of Medical Necessity? A patient can write a letter of medical necessity, but it must be signed off by the doctor. The doctor would be able to provide the most proper, legitimate information needed. more


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