Finding the Right Fibromyalgia Doctor for You
Will my Fibromyalgia Doctor Communicate With my Primary Health Care Provider?
Be aware that problems may occur when you have more than one doctor administering treatment. While both doctors are working to make you well, unless there is effective communication between them, you could find yourself in a precarious situation regarding your health. It’s important to have one doctor who knows all about you -- your condition, your specific fibromyalgia symptoms, your treatment plan, and the specific fibromyalgia medications you are taking. It’s also important to be knowledgeable yourself so that you can accurately report details of your treatment and any changes in medication in case you have more than one health care provider.
How Do I Select a Fibromyalgia Doctor?
To choose a fibromyalgia specialist, some people ask friends for recommendations. Others check a doctor’s credentials or call the local hospital for referrals. In this age of managed care, you also need to check the list of doctors who will accept your insurance provider.
None of these methods, however, is foolproof. Finding a qualified professional with whom you can feel comfortable sharing your innermost feelings and concerns about your fibromyalgia symptoms will take time and effort.
Perhaps one of the most important steps to take when selecting this health care professional is to know yourself. That includes knowing your personal likes and dislikes. Do you feel more comfortable with a man or a woman? Do you want your doctor to be older than you, the same age, or younger? Do you have a preference as to educational background? These questions are important to consider when making your selection.
What Other Questions Should I Consider When Choosing a Fibromyalgia Doctor?
Ask the following questions as you go through the process of choosing a fibromyalgia doctor:
- Is the doctor board certified?
- Where did the doctor go to medical school? Your local medical society can provide this information.
- Is the doctor involved in any academic pursuits, such as teaching, writing, or research? This kind of doctor may be more up-to-date on the latest developments in their field.
- Where does the doctor have hospital privileges, and where are these hospitals located? Some doctors may not admit patients to certain hospitals. This is an important consideration for people with chronic health problems.
- Does the doctor accept your particular type of health insurance, or is the doctor a member of the medical panel associated with your HMO?
Should I Meet a Fibromyalgia Doctor Ahead of Time?
Plan an initial consultation with a potential fibromyalgia doctor. During this meeting, which will include a detailed interview and physical exam, you and the doctor can get to know each other. Effective communication between patient and doctor is important if you want to receive the highest quality care.