Restorations Therapy Blog

What Doctor Shopping Says About Someone

by on Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Portrait of a young nurse/doctor on a house call with face mask

Do you change doctors regularly, even if they’re not necessarily within your HMO or PPO? Do you know someone who is constantly talking to new doctors about a condition they say they have? If so, these could be clear cases of “doctor shopping.”

Doctor shopping is the practice of visiting many different doctors to either obtain multiple prescriptions for drugs such as opioids or to obtain a medical diagnosis that the patient believes they have. It often involves a patient lying to a doctor in order to achieve the desired outcome. 

Additionally, if you’re willing to pay the doctor’s price, some will write prescriptions without performing an examination or without the patient actually having that ailment or condition. In some cases, one doctor doesn’t realize that the patient is getting prescriptions from other doctors, as well.

Who Is Most Likely to Doctor Shop?

This practice commonly occurs with hypochondriacs or someone who believes they have a specific ailment or disorder, continuing to “shop” until they find a doctor who will diagnose them with that problem. However, it also happens a lot with people who have substance abuse issues, often due to taking opioids for chronic pain and becoming addicted to them.

Spotting a Doctor Shopper 

Many things can signify that a person is doctor shopping. Some of the main ones include:
Frequently visiting the doctor without a reasonable explanation or visiting new doctors with great frequency. This can also include visiting doctors out of state or even outside the country of residence

Having prescriptions filled at multiple pharmacies

Frequently claiming they have misplaced, lost, or stolen medication

Being dissatisfied with every doctor they see

Being on drugs, especially expensive ones, without having health insurance or a job with which to pay for them

Doctor shopping is dangerous for many reasons, but the primary one is that there is no continuity of care when one doctor prescribes one drug in one dosage for a condition, and another prescribes the same or something else in a different dosage. There is even less continuity of care if the prescriptions are all filled at different pharmacies, too. 

If you or someone you know suffers from substance abuse, is showing signs of doctor shopping, or has any other problem, it may be beneficial to seek professional counseling. Restorations Therapy offers a variety of treatment programs and licensed counselors who can offer guidance for a wide range of issues, including substance abuse and doctor shopping. We don’t offer cookie-cutter therapy programs; instead, we make the extra effort it takes to tailor a treatment program with your own individualized needs in mind. Restorations Therapy can be reached at (720) 446-6585. Call us today for more information.

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