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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Tips & Tools for Finding a Great Doc

Previously, I wrote about how important the doctor-patient relationship is. In this post I’m going to talk about tips and tools for finding a great doctor, if you don’t currently have one. This task is especially difficult if you have fibromyalgia due to the energy needed to do this and the fact that not all doctors work well with fibromyalgia patients.

I’ve heard some people say that you shouldn’t consider the distance when looking for a new doctor – that you should focus instead on only the quality. Honestly, I disagree with that. When traveling is challenging, due to transportation or discomfort, I think distance should heavily be considered. When I switched to a new Primary Care Physician (PCP) I started researching clinics closest to my house and worked outward. After all, when we need care the most, we often need it to be easily accessible.

I highly suggest calling clinics and asking to speak with the clinic managers. Ask which of their doctors have more experience with fibromyalgia patients, including having them as current patients. Personally, I’d then ask if the manager could check with the doctor and see if the doctor would be willing to try to keep abreast of new information coming out about fibromyalgia if they were my PCP. I explained that this is important to my care since researchers are still trying to understand the syndrome and that I didn’t expect the doctor to read every single thing released on fibromyalgia. Finding out that information often requires a call back and could possibly weed out some capable doctors and clinics, but personally, I’m okay with that. I feel like it is important to not only have a great match for a PCP, but also for the PCP’s staff to be willing to work with patients (since that is usually who helps us via phone).

Asking people you know for referrals is always a good resource too. Another place to look for suggestions is the Arthritis Foundation and their My Doc Rocks! program and other local non-profit, health related organizations. These organizations usually partner with doctors who’re very involved in their communities and that are keeping up with new research.

If you’re in need of a pain doctor, Dr. Oz suggests asking How much pain management training they have. This is because the answers could vary from only getting a few hours in med school to doing a residency in it to have a sub-specialty in it. You’ll also want to know what their approach to treating your pain is. Will there be an overall approach using medicines, procedures, physical and psychological-behavioral aspects or will they only be focusing on some of these? Discussing this can lead you to ask how long it will be before you can expect to see results and how much it will cost. Often times it may take a longer amount of time to make an impact on pain.

What’re your tips and tools for finding a great doc?

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Everyone deserves a great doc!*

*Image Credit: from by Zol87


Comment from Erica
Time March 24, 2012 at 9:04 am

Really found this post interesting! I’ll be pinning this on pinterest!
Erica recently posted: How to be ordinary


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