Let have some honest moments real quick. As wonderful and necessary that medical professionals, physicians and surgeons are, they are not trained in how to deal with the growing number of people that are anti-medication, asking questions, and wanting to understand their pain. We are currently in a place of history that people like the holistic approach; the millennials question everything.
Neither of these facts is a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing!! People should ask questions, they should want to know and understand how to better their health and how to not be at mercy of a medical system that over the years is proving to be more about the money and less about the welfare of the people they’re meant to protect and care for.
When Searching for a Doctor
What do you need? Chiropractor, Physical therapist, Osteo-professional, Gastro, Endocrinologist, OB/GYN, Acupuncture, Sports Med? There are currently 1900+ different specialists in the medical field. Not kidding. Sometimes it can take a few tries to find the right one, unfortunately.
Many insurance options require a referral from a PCP or Primary Care Physician. When your PCP takes the time to consider all of your symptoms in a timeline of occurrence, they can usually point you in the right direction!
Make sure your insurance coverage needs are met first, as needed. If you have the financial means to hire the best regardless of price, do it, you above all know and recognize the importance of your body, your health, and your wellbeing. If you prefer to use insurance, then you already know your first question is whether they take your insurance or not. This does not mean that you won’t find a perfectly capable physician.
Look at reviews!
This will usually tell you if you want to be there or not, based on your desire for bedside manner, friendly staff, clean facility, newest technology etc. Look at what others have to say about their experience.
- How long does the doctor allow between appts?
- How long will the doc spend with me?
- Does the physician have a specialty in your area of concern?
- How long have they been in business?
- Have they worked with your issue before?
Most info you need could be found online but if not call! Don’t be surprised if the front desk is not sure how to answer some of your questions, he/she probably doesn’t get them often.
While with your doc.
Make sure to explain everything you can think of that could be relevant. This includes previous injuries to the local area, other injuries that may have led to body compensations which could lead to an area of concern. Answer your docs questions thoroughly. Pay attention to the manual tests and questions the doc asked, there could be a link to something you hadn’t previously thought of. Ask about imaging options if it seems appropriate, especially if you know insurance will cover it or if you’ve met necessary deductibles.
Imaging takes out the guesswork. Your doc may be conservative and want to hold off if they feel other methods may work before having you spend the extra money. Be thankful for the conservative docs! Question the ones(doctors) that immediately go to injections or surgery as a first choice. Be open in discussing your dislike of taking medications if that’s the case. It doesn’t help you or your doc if you get a script you never intend on using and you don’t communicate to your doc about it. (it happens more than you think!)
Your Turn! – Questions to Ask!!!
- How did this happen?
- What causes that?
- How can I avoid aggravating it?
- How can I avoid this happening again in the future?
Imaging – make sure they show you the imaging and explain what they see. This will be invaluable with any other physician you see in the future for this or even an unrelated issue.
In all of these areas… What does that mean? If you’re not sure you understand, ask the questions necessary to understand, Confirm your thoughts.
If something doesn’t seem right or if you’re unsure about a diagnosis, get a second opinion. There is no shame in that! Sometimes a new set of eyes is all it takes.
Hang in there.
I’ve had a lot of clients and my own recent experience where doctors don’t always know what is going on and they either don’t care or don’t have the available means to look further into it. This should never excuse you the patient to lose hope. I know it may seem hard to feel understood and listened to.
This is why we offer free 30 min phone consults. If we can help point you in the right direction, we’re happy to do so.