When it comes to any type of medical professional, from your typical primary care doctor to those at a pain clinic in Phoenix, one of the foundational steps to a proper relationship is making sure all sides involved are able to communicate properly. How well you and a given medical professional communicate with each other is going to be key to getting the care you need. After all, say, if you were grappling with back pain in Phoenix, a doctor could help you make the decisions that best suit your values and habits, and keep you in contact with the providers you need.
This means you need to do your part also. Part of being a properly communicative patient is being sure you’re ready to ask questions if any explanations or instructions you get aren’t clear, being sure to bring up problems even if a doctor doesn’t ask, and letting a doctor know if you have issues with a given treatment or its impact on your daily life.
Setting The Stage With Pain Management In Phoenix
Say that you don’t have a professional to help with your neck pain in Phoenix or aren’t at ease with the one that you’re seeing right now. If this is an issue for you, you want to take the time to find a new doctor. This applies whether you’ve moved to a new city, changed your insurance provider, or have had a bad experience with past medical staff.
A key first step to make here is a list of qualities that ultimately matter to you. Does it make a difference if your doctor of choice is male or female? Do you have certain items as a priority, such as evening hours, association with a given hospital, or the ability to speak certain languages? Some patients may prefer someone that has an individual practice, or part of a greater group so you always have someone you can see. After your list is completed, make sure you go back over your list of qualifiers so you can determine what matters to you the most.
When you’ve taken this step of what you’re looking for, it’s time to reach out to medical specialists, friends, and relatives for some doctors that they’ve had good experiences with. You don’t want just a set of names, though, but some experiences to go along with them. For example, take the time to ask people what they like about a given doctor, and if the doctor takes the time to answer questions. If you see the same name coming up a lot, this may give you more options to work with.
If you have a managed care plan, you may have to work with a professional covered within that plan, or you’ll need to pay even more to see a medical professional outside of the network. The bulk of these managed care plans will offer information on given backgrounds and credentials. Some settings also have websites, with lists of doctors you can work from. As you go through this list, you can start narrowing things down. Sometimes, a doctor may not be taking new patients and you’ll need to move to another choice, also.
Asking those around you for additional advice is a good start, but what about other methods you can use to gather information? There are quite a few online tools you can use to get started, such as the American Board of Medical Specialties’ Certification Matters database or the Doctor Finder website offered by the American Medical Association. The websites don’t actually recommend individuals but can give you a list of doctors to consider. You can also find online tools to narrow down doctors that take Medicare, if that’s what you need.
As you’re scouting around, you may see a lot of medical professionals with the board-certified designation. This essentially means that they’ve had some extra training done after their conventional medical school. They’ve also worked to pass an exam that certifies their expertise in given speciality areas. Some of the examples here include orthopedics and geriatrics, which are relevant to some of the issues that we may have discussed earlier. You can look to the American Board of Medical Specialties to have a database on hand of board-certified professionals that are updated daily. You can call toll-free also to verify doctor certification.
With the list fully narrowed down, you’re ready to start calling some offices. Office staff can be an invaluable resource here in terms of information about a doctor’s education, qualification, payment procedures, and other info. You want to get in the habit of working with these people, as you’ll be communicating with them often. It may pay off to set up an appointment to talk to the doctor in person as well, though you’ll likely be charged for it.
Because of this, you want to make sure you fully utilize the time on hand to ask key questions. For example, if you’re elderly, you may want to ask if they treat a lot of older patients, compared to a sports injury center, for example. You should also ask if they prefer a family to be involved with care decisions or how they can be reached when you have questions. Equally important is talking about complementary treatments, if that’s something you’re interested in.
While you’re doing this, you want to ask yourself questions about a doctor as well. Determine if you really feel like you were being listened to or had a chance to vocalize questions or concerns. When this is done, you can start scheduling your first proper care appointment. This may include a general exam and look at your medical history, so be sure to bring your appropriate records or send them from your previous doctor. Have a list of current medication you take as well.Leave a reply →