Are you looking for a rheumatologist or a new one? Debbie offers her advice on how you can find the right rheumatologist for you and some additional tips on what you should look for in a doctor.
When you visit your rheumatologist, it is important for you to feel comfortable, have someone you can easily talk to, and someone who is there to help you along the way with your rheumatoid arthritis.
However, in some cases, you could have a rheumatologist who...
Doesn't make you feel comfortable
Makes you feel like you cannot talk to him or her about what's going on and how you feel
Doesn't listen to you and pushes your problems aside
It's important to stand up for yourself and ask to see another rheumatologist from your family physician or seek out another doctor on your own. You deserve to have a doctor who will work with you.
I'm going to provide you with some ways you can find a rheumatologist that is right for you.
Word of Mouth
The good way of getting to know who are the great doctors out there is by word of mouth. Ask people (friends, family, online communities, etc.) that you know who live with RA.
You can ask them about what their doctor is like when they have an appointment with them, what makes their doctor different from yours, and their positive and negative experiences with them.
I think important things in a doctor are open communication, his or her willingness to listen to the little things. They should never make you feel like the question you ask is silly.
Open communication is so important and it can save you going through so much suffering that you don't need to.
Open to Listening
When you're looking for a rheumatologist, you should look for one who is known to for listening to their patients regarding their concerns and problems.
You want a rheumatologist who will address your worries and not one who will just nod their head and pretend to try and resolve your problem at the next appointment.
A Doctor Who Will Be There for You
We all know that rheumatologist appointments can take months to get, but what happens when you're sick, and you can't go? Then what?
For example, let's say you have an appointment in a month with your rheumatologist and you wake up feeling feverish, and your joints are just burning, or you're going through a terrible flare.
They may not allow you to attend the appointment and send you for some bloodwork instead. You may have to wait another month or two weeks until you see somebody. This is something that you shouldn't have to ever deal with.
A good rheumatologist and their staff members go hand-in-hand. They should want to help you no matter how you're feeling.
Comfortability Is Important
If your doctor's a little bit on the grumpy side when you go to see them just kind of brush it off or if there's a particular little joke that you like, just tell them quickly. You just never know if you might put a smile on his or hers face and make it great for the rest of the day.
So that's about all that I can think of for how I would recommend finding a good rheumatoid doctor. Besides, you know, looking up credentials and making sure that they've gone to a reputable college and have all their diplomas.
You really want somebody that is a person with good bedside manner.
If that person has good bedside manner, you're going to be able to have open communication. You're going to be able to hear things from him or her that may not be the greatest news, but they'll have a gentle way of putting it to you.
Someone that's harsh and to the point, and doesn't explain things in a good way is just a total turn-off to me when I'm looking for any kind of doctor.