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How should I than Find a Doctor who can help me?
This is a difficult question as there is so much misinformation about Fibromyalgia among the medical community. The internet is not much better and very possibly causes more harm than good. I would first speak with other people who have Fibromyalgia and have found an excellent doctor. Ask this person what the experience in the doctor’s office was like. Was the doctor thorough, did he or she have empathy and most importantly, was the doctor willing to take the time and listen to the person? Did the doctor take as much time as necessary and answer all the questions. Did the person finally have a clear understanding of what Fibromyalgia was about?
You might check with some of the support groups and get some names of Fibromyalgia sufferers and ask them the same questions.
Sometimes you might ask a doctor you trust for a referral, but do be aware that many times the doctor’s network is “the good ol boys” network, meaning that some doctors will refer to their friends. Therefore, it will take some vigilance on your part, but the end results will be worth it.
I, very much recommend against choosing a doctor from the phone book or seeing doctor just because that doctor is a member of your health plan. It is more than worth it to pay out of your pocket to find a doctor who is really good and can really help you. Fibromyalgia makes you very ill and the last thing you need is a doctor who does not have a clear understanding of fibro. You also don’t have the time or energy to go from doctor to doctor and constantly being disappointed with the results. Having hope, which is constantly shattered, can be pretty devastating, especially if you go through this cycle many times.
Ask for a 10 minute visit. The best times are usually before the doctor is through with his/her patients for the morning. Explain to the receptionist that you would like to see if this doctor would be right for you. I know that this might sound foreign for most of you, but there is really nothing wrong with this. After all, you would “interview” a lawyer, an accountant, a contractor etc. Remember that you are dealing with your health and fibro is a complicated topic. You want the right Doctor. This will hopefully avoid going from doctor to doctor and help you to get off that never ending merry-go-round.
Some questions to ask would be:
1 Have you experience treating Fibromyalgia?
2 How many fibromyalgia patients do you see per week?
3 What kind of results do you get when treating fibro?
4 What do you think causes fibro?
The sorry state of the medical system in the United States and possibly other countries is in need of repair and it has to be a ground roots movement meaning that you, the patient, has to take the initiative. This is one way to start.
Dr. Gene Martin