Feeling unsure about my new doctor. Experiences?

So... I have to find a new neorosurgeon and gamma knife specialist because I got new insurance and it's through a different hospital. At first I was pretty excited because the new hospital is really great and I thought it might open up some new doors for my treatment options. Well, I met the doctor there awhile back that happens to be a neurosurgeon and a gamma knife surgeon. He is supposedly very good, is head of the program at the hospital, and is even the one who develops and writes the protocol for gamma knife procedures in the city. However, he is also kind of creepy. Although I've only met with him once, he didn't smile, didn't joke, didn't chit chat and generally didn't act nice at all. He seemed very knowledable in what he said, but he was kind of snippy and just made me uncomfortable.

I feel like I shouldn't judge based on personality because he obviously is very good at what he does and just is not a socially skilled person. His skill as a surgeon is what is really important I guess. At the same time I really need someone who makes me feel confident and comfortable if they're going to be messing with my brain!

I checked to see if there was another doctor to see, but everyone keeps recommending me back to him because he is exactly the combination of expertise I would need.

So do I stick with him? What now?

We all have different mannerisms and get along with some better than others… A kind, friendly doctor can make mistakes by trying to be gentle with you and holding back on helpful treatment that might cause you discomfort. If this doctor has expertise (all the recommendations seem to attest to that) and if he answers your questions, maybe you can find the other kinds of support you need from one of your secondary doctors–an ordinary neurologist or your primary care physician.

Make sure you don’t take a subordinate position with him just because he’s snippy–you still have the right to ask questions and know what’s going on, even if it seems to make him irritable.

Hello Beth, I’m so sorry that you don’t like your neurosurgeon. I understand that we really like to have someone who makes us feel comfortable and fortunately for me, my surgeon was great. However, 10yrs ago mu husband had a brain tumor (not AVM), but the surgeon was excellent but had absolutely NO bedside manner AT ALL. He made me feel creepy but my husband decided to stick with him as he was the best one at that time as he had a great reputation in our state, and my husband’s surgery was excellent. The decision is yours naturally, so good luck and hope you can get it sorted. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers. Lesley.

In my dealings with the Doctors, I have been fairly lucky as most are personable. What I have also found that in most cases we are dealing with the assistants or nurses, rather than the doctors anyway. Your confidence in the work that the doctor is going to do is critical, so take it slow and if possible talk to others, patients in the waiting room, assistants and or nurses and see if that helps to make you more comfortable.

Best wishes,


My surgeon was like. No personality. He had no bedside manners. But he knows his stuff and he did a great job on my surgery. I would keep him.

I rejected the head of the department at my hospital because he was a jerk. I went with a woman who deals more with tumors but she had done several avms. She made me feel more comfortable and relaxed during the weeks before the surgery. I found out more about her and she was a very exceptional surgeon and highly regarded as well. It was by far the best decision I could have made.

I would keep asking to see someone else so that you can at least speak with them. Hang in there and stay strong.

Thanks for the advice. I’m glad I’m not the only one facing a doc with no sense of humor at all! I guess I am assuming he is good because the hospital is a very good hospital and I doubt they’d have someone at the top of their program who was an idiot. I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.