Sunday, June 17, 2012

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOCTOR FOR YOU

Let me start by apologizing for not updating for a couple of weeks. I have been busy creating a new design for this blog and helping a friend create a new website for his auto repair business.

I have an appointment on 6-18-2012 for a new CT Scan and an appointment with my GI Sanadra Kane at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN.

This article is about selecting the right GI for you. I have heard form many patients on the ButtBook Forum (GI Monitor) that they are unhappy with their GI or are switching or considering switching to a different GI.

Choosing the right GI can be challenging. Many patients feel they just don’t have a choice in doctors. Some patients feel helpless or don’t know what to do.

I have learned first hand that you do have a choice and and that it is up to me to make sure I have the best care possible.

Clearly, the doctor that you choose will have a direct impact on how well you do,  especially when you need treatment for a complex gastrointestinal condition. This will be an important relationship in your life so it's worth investing some time and energy into finding the right doctor.

RESEARCH

With a little research and effort you can find the right doctor for you.

Get the names of several doctors and hospitals that offer the newest, most effective treatments as well as clinical trials that compare the latest drugs with experimental drugs, which may provide even better results.

Ask you General Practioner for information regarding your disease. The willingness of providers to give you as much information as possible is a good sign. It shows that they are dedicated to maintaining and improving their quality and responsiveness to patients, and that they are confident in their capabilities.

One source of information that many people do not take advantage of is your insurance company.  It’s a good idea to call both your insurance company and the doctor’s office to confirm that your health plan will cover the doctor’s services. For instance, you might ask your insurance company for recommendations of specialists who are in your network

Check with "local universities and medical schools, especially if they specialize" in inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn's disease. Ideally, the same name or names should come up from different sources.

Look for a gastroenterologist who is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the organization responsible for certifying subspecialists in internal medicine. Board-certified gastroenterologists, for instance, have spent a certain number of hours practicing endoscopy, a type of diagnostic test essential in diagnosing Crohn’s disease. Other sources such as The American College of Gastroenterology, The American Gastroenterological Association, The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of American are all good sources for a selection of doctors in your area.

Your disease management will likely involve more than just your gastroenterologist, so it’s essential that you feel comfortable with the other health care providers on your medical team. Your primary care doctor might still treat you for non-Crohn’s related issues and may coordinate referrals, depending on your insurance. Nurses and the support staff will play a major role as well. Depending on your treatment needs, you might need to see a registered dietician, a mental health counselor, or a colorectal surgeon. Coordination and communication between different medical professionals involved in your care is extremely important, so ask who will be taking the lead role in making this group a high-quality team

Choosing a qualified and competent medical team is important, but at the end of the day you’re the one living with Crohn's. It is important to educate yourself as much as possible. “the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Web site is a good resource to find out about new developments in IBD research.”

GETTING COZY

When you have done your research and think you have found the right doctor, you need to remember this is your care and you and your GI are going to have a long term relationship.

You need to feel comfortable, safe, secure and confident that this is the right doctor for you.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America recommends writing down your questions before your appointment/consultation, to ensure you don’t forget to ask something you particularly need to know. Take a pen and paper with you on your visit so you can write down the doctor’s answers and review them later.

The way in which the doctor interacts with you on a personal level should put you at ease, not make you feel more stressed about your condition. It is especially important to choose a doctor you can easily talk with openly and honestly.

Do I feel comfortable with this doctor? Am I satisfied with his or her answers to the questions I asked? Was I seen on time when I arrived for the consultation? Was the office staff helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly? All the little issues that you’d consider when choosing your primary care physician are just as important when choosing a specialist to work with you on managing your disease.

Choosing the right doctor is essential and important relationship in your life so it's worth investing some time and energy into finding the right doctor.

4 comments:

  1. It is very important that the doctor can explain things to you in layman’s terms, and not in medical jargons. That can also be a measure of how good he is because he can express the technical terms, or process them in words you will be able to understand. I agree that you should feel comfortable with the doctor you choose, since you are putting your life in his hands, and compliance is more evident when you trust the person who is making the advice.

    Aubrey Holloway

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  2. It would be best to choose a doctor who would go the extra mile with his diagnosis when needed, since many factors in modern medicine discourage a doctor from looking further than expected. To look for more unusual causes, a doctor may need to do lab exams that are pricey or hard to do. These exams often prove important, as they help determine the main cause of an ailment and they also save lives.

    Sharleen Jernigan

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  3. I feel like these tips can apply to selecting any doctor or health clinic, not just a GI. For example, I love what you said about writing down questions to ask the doctors before seeing them for the first time. It's important that you actually feel comfortable with a doctor before selecting them. The best way to figure that out is to ask them open, honest questions. If they're reliable, they'll be able to answer all of them. Thanks so much for the article, Bobby! http://www.snowcreekmedical.com

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  4. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information!In my opinion, Keep a healthy life by consuming healthy food and doing exercise regularly is the best diet formula.

    ReplyDelete

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