Angie's List: When and how to change physician's

LEWISTON, ID - Libby McMullen's son, Greyson, is a healthy baby boy, but Libby had some trouble with her OBGYN during his birth.

Libby says she was happy with her physician during her prenatal visits, but when it came time to give birth, she found the doctor to be rude and unwilling to address her concerns.

"I get to the hospital to be induced and that morning I get there and everything we had talked about and planned for, my induction, went out the window," said McMullen.

As a result, Libby said she's looking for a new physician.

"There are many reasons why patients feel it's necessary to switch doctors; whether they don't agree with the doctor's bedside manner, treatment options, or it's hard to get a hold of their doctor or get an appointment scheduled," said Angie's List Owner Angie Hicks. "The bottom line is, if you don't feel comfortable with your doctor, it's time to move on."

There are steps patients should take before breaking up with their doctor.

"If you are going to switch doctors, the most important thing is to find your new doctor ahead of time because it can be a little complicated whether it's looking for someone who takes your insurance or has openings," said Angie. "You don't want to be left in a lurch without a doctor."

An Angie's List poll found nearly 70% of respondents did not explain to their former physician about why they were leaving.

"If you do decide you want to let your doctor know why your switching you can either tell them in person or tell them over the phone," said Angie. "If you are not comfortable doing that consider an email. You can also give an online review - it's a great way to give that feedback to the provider."

"The bottom line is that you are the paying customer and you need to be comfortable and happy with who your provider is and you shouldn't let embarrassment about switching stop you seeking out what's going to work best for you and your family," said Libby.

When switching doctors, don't forget to have your medical records sent over to the new provider and keep in mind, you may have to pay for copies.