Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New Doctor Advice

Do I choose a doctor on the potential to have great shoes or one who has a great podcast voice? That is the question.

I recently moved and now I need new doctors. This really competes with my middle school daughter's angst over not finding any friends in her new school. No, I haven't told her about my anxiety over this problem. However, just about anyone who knows me knows this ranks up at the top of my list of stressors.

I found a family practice doc today without too much stress. She is in a practice with a recommended doctor. She allows you to email her, schedule appointments online, and her office location is around the corner.

But, I have IBD. That means I spend more time with a GI doctor than I do with my family practice doctor. There begins my angst. I got some recommendations. I looked on health grades. Then I Googled. This is where my problems and pick a doctor.

Doctor A-Great picture online. Friend commented that she looked like she wore great shoes. (My last doctor did) Specializes in IBD. 20 min drive away. Office hours: 2 afternoons a week.

Doctor B-man, recommended by a nurse in another hospital in town who just knows of him via reputation for his IBD specialization. Approx same age as Doctor A, newer in town though and has an office with Doctor C, 11 min away, that he has office hours in 1 time a week, and is in the same building as doctor A twice a week.

Doctor C-woman, General GI specialty, normal 8-5 office hours, office 11 min drive, finished med school in 1990. (A & B finished the med school portion in 2001) Looks friendly.

Doctor D-Man, recommended by friend, finished med school in 1975. General GI, pancreatic cancer specialty. Really don't feel good about him from his picture, office again, 20 min drive, again limited office hour, twice a week in the afternoon

Doctor E-Recommended by partner of last GI doctor, accidentally heard a podcast by him while reading my feeds today. Ok, accidentally doesn't seem right. I saw that there was a new podcast series about IBD and clicked in to see whether it was at all interesting. It was AND it happened to be this recommended doctor. He had a great podcast voice. Really. His research interests also include virtual colonoscopy (pretty cool stuff) and ways to better communicate with patients and families/better health outreach. That is really cool stuff. About an hour away by car/train/etc...could be extremely stressful for me if I am sick to be in the car that long. Would need to scope out public restrooms along the way.

All five are affiliated with teaching hospitals and are active faculty. This means that I may get great innovative treatment. It will mean my chances of actually seeing the chosen doctor seem low without me being a problem patient. It also means I will either need to deal with my Resident and Medical Student distrust/dislike OR be the problem patient from day one and say no, not willing to deal with them.

So, do I go with great shoes? Office hours? Great podcast voice? Recommendations? (If so, whose?)


LondonLucy said...

Oh! I just wrote you a whole novel of a comment and the system lost it.

Basically, I am having the same trouble - but without the choice! UK = public funded system = take a number and pray.

AND I too have a registrar/med-student phobia. The last registrar who treated me had to look up 'ulcerative colitis' on his palm pilot, and started administering me with IV steroids WITHOUT MY CONSENT because his merick manual said so. My regular consultant freaked when she read his notes, btw.

Basically, I reckon you should go with good shoes. And, if you don't like the first specialist you try, ask for a referral to someone new - a doctor you don't feel you can trust is worse than useless. IMHO.

Karen said...

You should call their office, schedule an appointment to meet them, and "interview" them. It sounds weird, but when you think about it, this person will help you make the majority of your health care decisions over an extended period of time that will impact your daily life. Start with your gut feeling about who is best and go from there, you might not want to schedule appointments with all of them immediately especially depending on how much your insurance co-pay is.


Lucy said...

Hey - how did your doctor hunt go? I have just blogged about my euphoria re. finally finding a specialist in the UK who I really feel I can trust. SUCH a relief.

Don't worry if you haven't actually found a doctor yet. I put it off for two whole years after I moved. (I am not suggesting this... I spent two years worried and anxious because I didn't know who I would see if things got really bad. I just had some vague idea about catching a plane to my old specialist).


jcnemecek said...

Definitely go with recommendations if you can. We're on like the fourth GI for my husband now.

The problem with the first few is that they were all way to busy with their hospital duties and research interests. That resulted in billions of rescheduled appointments (often with zero notice) and minimal attention when he could get in.

Finding a doctor=huge pain in the butt :(

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