6. Someone you like. Of course, it's crucial that you trust your doctor's skills and judgment. But it also helps to like your doctor. People who feel at ease with their doctors are more likely to follow the treatment plans and drug schedules the doctors prescribe, research shows.
7. Looks beyond drug treatment. Drugs should be just one part of treating your Crohn's. Your doctor should also talk to you about eating and nutrition, helpful lifestyle habits like exercise and not smoking, and surgery, if it could help you.
8. A good office staff. Does the staff answer your calls or return them right away? Are they polite and helpful?
9. Insurance. Is the doctor on your insurance plan?
10. Easy access. If your symptoms get worse, can you get in to see the doctor quickly? Does the doctor respond to your calls or emails?
What to Do if Your Doctor Misses the Mark
If your doctor doesn't hit the mark in all areas, these tips can help improve your experience:
Learn about Crohn's and its treatment. Come to your doctor visit with a list of questions. Ask your most pressing questions first. Your doctor or a staff member might also answer questions by email. Let you doctor know if you don't understand something or need something repeated. No question is too basic.
Be honest. Keep notes of your symptoms and the treatments you've tried, including over-the-counter drugs and nutrition supplements. Tell your doctor how you feel, and admit if you miss a dose of a prescribed drug.
If you don't think your doctor is right for you, look for another one. Your insurance provider, regular doctor, friends, or the American College of Gastroenterology may be able to help you find one who specializes in treating Crohn's.