The diagnosis of arthritis can be incredibly overwhelming. Faced to suddenly with the knowledge that pain will be a part of the future individuals also must struggle to find a specialist to help manage the medical situation and prevent any further disability. That particular specialist who manages arthritic conditions is called a rheumatologist.
There are some tricks to finding a good rheumatologist who can provide excellent care, improve the comfort level, decreased pain and help to prevent any further disability that the individual may suffer with their particular diagnosis. Here are some suggestions that will help an individual find their way through the maze of medical care to find the doctor with whom they can be comfortable and with whom they can learn to treat their own disease.
Making the right choice in the specialists who cares for your illness is an important decision because and a positive attitude on the part of the individual actually makes a great difference in the daily lives of people who live with chronic pain. There are three different ways of coming up with a list of specialists from whom to choose; credential checks, referrals and insurance lists.
Consumers should check the credentials of any physician that they see. There are two main methods to get this accomplished: checking disciplinary actions as well is checking for physicians listed as top specialists. The Federation of State Medical Boards also includes the national Practitioner Data Bank, which checks for disciplinary actions for a fee of approximately $10.
The second method provides a list of top rated specialists who grade physicians through surveys taken nationwide. There are three such databases accessible via the Internet: Best Doctors, Castle Connolly and MDNationwide, Inc. and the third method is to come for referrals from your own doctor, your past physicians, any other specialists you may currently be seen, your friends and your family. By going through all three methods you’ll find one or two names that continue to pop up-the cream of the crop.
Using these names, sort through the list of approved physicians from your current insurance company. Some companies will give the option of an approved doctor rate and an out of network rate. It is your choice as to whether the physician is worth the out-of-pocket costs. And once shows and, if you are working with the physician who is out of network you may be able to convince them to be calm in network for your particular insurance company.
Another criteria is to ensure that the doctor is board certified. Some doctors will tell you they are board eligible, but that doesn’t mean a thing. Certification means the doctor has passed rigorous testing, receive continuing education and is retested at defined intervals. Board eligible means that they have passed medical school and are awaiting their testing, or are able to sit for a tasks but have not yet done so.
Set up your first appointment with the doctor to evaluate this particular specialist and the office staff. When you first go for your visit the patient will bring: the insurance card, any medications taken as well is dosage, amount, time and name, alternative remedies use such as herbs or acupuncture, passed x-ray results, blood tests and any other physical examinations which may be available as well as the names, addresses and specialties of any other physicians they are currently seeing.
The individual should be prepared to answer questions from the physician that will include: when and where does it hurt? When did the pain first start? How long does the pain last? Is it dull or shark? Is there swelling, heat, redness in any of the joints? Have there been injuries to the affected joints in the past? Does anyone in the family have similar problems?
Patients should also consider the office staff and be comfortable with the way in which they handle situations. When patients are waiting in the office well past their appointed times on a consistent basis it often means that office visits are being double booked to accommodate individuals who know show for their visits. On occasion the physician will be running late because of an emergency or having arrived to the office late but this should not be a consistent habit.
When individuals take time early in the process of finding a rheumatologist for the treatment of their arthritic condition they often find they are properly diagnosed and treatment for the illness happens quickly. This saves time and a way of finding another doctor later in the process. The rheumatologist you choose will make a huge difference in the way the individual responds to treatment so, choose well!
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