Know when it's time to fire your doctor

Story highlights

  • Leaving your physician can be a difficult decision
  • Before bolting, try to express your dissatisfaction, using "we," not "you"

This story was originally published on in 2007.

(CNN)Dr. Jerome Groopman knew that he needed to break up with his doctor.

Five years ago, when he started seeing his internist, everything was fine. But Groopman says that in time, the internist became more popular -- and hence more busy and harried -- right when Groopman needed him most.
"I have a strong family history of high cholesterol and heart disease. Every male in my family has had a [heart attack] in his 50s and 60s," he said. "I was moving into middle age, and I just didn't feel that my doctor was looking at me as an individual and taking those factors into account."
    But Groopman -- a physician and author of four books about doctors and patients -- found it difficult to leave his internist of five years. "It sounds strange, but I didn't want to insult him."