ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Health Care, Drugs & Insurance

Screening Physicians

Updated on July 8, 2008

I have personally come to realize the importance of properly screening physicians before accepting their services, unfortunately this new found knowledge comes only after struggling for nearly 3 years to receive a proper diagnosis.

The phone rang and I glanced at the caller I.D. before answering. I saw that it was my doctors office calling and I remembered my doctors, "no news is good news" rule when waiting for lab results. I continued to listen to the phone ring while I mentally prepared myself for the worst. I hadn't heard anything in almost a week and was sure that my results were negative.

The answering machine picked up and I debated whether or not to interrupt the nurse as she began to leave a message. I sighed and decide that my mind was as ready as it was ever going to be.

I could hear the crackle in the nurses voice as she asked me if I were sitting down. The moments to come were some of the longest and most anticipated in my life. "Your Lupus results are positive3..." she went on to tell me that she was really very sorry to give me this news and some other stuff about, "hope your ok.". Understandably the rest of the conversation was a blur.

So many thoughts shifted around in my mind, with good thoughts replacing bad and bad thoughts replacing good. The emotion I will never forget most is the sheer relief I felt just to finally know what was wrong with me. I was almost happy. Although obviously being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is far from good news was however; better than the trial I had been subjected to pre diagnoses.

I was seen by a merry go round of different physicians who claimed I had everything from M.S. to a nervous breakdown. Told that I needed to lose weight and I would be fine and even more elequently told, it was all in my head.

I now accept that had I done my homework before hand I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration. All has not been lost in my journey, because I have learned to accept that the field of medicine is more an art form than an exact science, and have come to the realization that some doctors spend more time than others perfecting their craft.

Somehow in my narrow understanding of the healthcare field I placed physicians on an undeserving pedestal, deeming them wise and holier than thow. I have now down graded their ranking to somewhere around, only human; and that's ok. I can accept the field of medicine is constantly changing and growing I cannot accept however; a physician who does not make it his priority to stay abreast of such changes in the their chosen field.

During doctor visits I had unknowingly adopted a form of white coat effect/theory1, not in the sense that my blood pressure was rising, but my feelings of inferiority were. One can imagine how difficult it would be to recieve equal treatment under such circumstances.

Because of this imbalance of power I soon applied a more proactive approach to not only finding the right physician, but also establishing a game plan for my treatment regimine. Although getting to this point of assertiveness has been a long rigorous road, it is now more simplistic since application of these simple rules for screening physicians:

1. Investigate

There are wonderful websites that aid in investigating a doctors work history or disciplinary board actions. And if all else fails you are also able to ask a physician for his CV or Curriculum Vitae. In english CV its a beefed up resume which highlights things such as: Education, Work History and published work typically appearing in peer edited journals, etc.

MD nationwide/Cost: $19.95

http://www.mdnationwide.org/doctorscredentials.php

Health Grades/Cost: $29.95

www.healthgrades.com

These are only a few of the vast selection that exists. You may even find that the medical group or hospital a particular doctor belongs to will actually offer that information on their web site.

2. Research Your Symptoms

Without knowing what kind of treatment others with your disease normally receive, you will have no way of knowing if what's prescribed is right for you. Its important to dig deeper into your diagnosis rather than smiling and nodding your head while your doctor talks circles around you using medical jargon.

www.webmd.com

www.mayoclinic.com

www.emedicinehealth.com

3. Interview

Some doctors openly solicit consultations but some do not. It is ok to request a more informal meet and greet with a physician, and I have not personally heard of any doctor saying no to such a meeting. You have to remember that you are relationship building and just as you want someone who is qualified to help you, they want a patient that they are actually able to assist.

  • Have your questions ready beforehand. That way your less likely to find yourself suddenly remembering questions, when you get in your car.
  • Write down your most important questions first in case time just doesn't allow you to get through them all.
  • Take notes of their responses and ask them to kindly respond in laymen terms.
  • Take a friend with you. Sometimes a good friend can be even better at expressing your concerns or thoughts than you are. Afterwards they can provide you with feedback as to whether or not they believe the two of you to be a good fit.

Remember, this is relationship building and if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious disease that requires ongoing treatment; its a relationship that will be long term, and therefore should be one that can be tolerated for the duration of the necessary treatment.

4. Ask Questions

I find that too many people, including myself, walk out of their physicians office feeling empty and confused. This is a valid feeling especially if you are not asking the right questions to begin with.

5. Keep Detailed Records

A friend gave me the most wonderful advise to keep my own medical chart handy at all times. This is invaluable because many times things can be misplaced or out right lost by a busy practice of any kind so being able to reach into your file and pull out whatever is needed for that physician is crucial. If this seems like a bit much consider that 90% of medical malpractice cases in the U.S. were filed by plaintiffs who claimed death or injury occured as a result of such malpractice2. So bottom line is that malpractice happens and keeping your own records is a way to protect against it.

It also should help to know that you are not alone and that although the job of juggling doctors, and appointments, and treatments and medicines and so on can be tedious; the power for change comes from within and the hope lies within finding the right physician to meet your individual needs.

1 White Coat Effect Retrieved July 7, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_coat_effect

2 (2001). Medical Malpractice and Verdicts in Large Counties, 2001. Retrieved July 6, 2008, from Bureau of Statistics Programs US Dept. of Justice * Office of Justice Website: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/mmtvlc01.htm

3 Unfortunately their is not one single test that can diagnose lupus in and of itself. My diagnosis came after many tests were performed and the nurse gave me the results of my ANA test. The ANA is one of the many tests performed when Lupus is suspected.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jonno.Norton 9 years ago

      Great hub, I especially like the part about how Medicine is more an artform than an exact science, and many doctors don't perfect their craft. This is so true, and worse many doctors still will accept what pharmaceudical companies tell them about their medications as truth without even doing their own research. So much is wrong with medicine in america, I refuse to go to any doctor unless I got hit by a truck or something. It's too expensive to go to the good ones, and the rest aren't going to give you any help anyway in my opinion.

      Great hub, I like your writing style and organizational skills. Good luck with your Lupas, and welcome to HubPages

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)