Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How To Search For A Good Doctor - Mental Health Awareness Retreat

How To Search For A Good Doctor


The last post shared with you guys discussed how you should find a doctor that really listens to your concerns and validates them. After reading that post I know that a few of you are asking yourselves "how do I find a doctor who listens to me?" "Where do I even search for the good ones?" Here is how I personally found really amazing doctors.

The first doctor to really listened to me (who was the one that diagnosed me with the benign tumors), I had found her years ago but had forgotten all about her. Long story short she began my care when I was 21 years old but I had to let her go and see another doctor when I started to have severe issues with my gallbladder at the age of 23 (which ended up in surgery). Unfortunately she was on vacation and couldn't see me. From there on I just hopped around from doctor to doctor never looking back until recent events. I remember how good the care was from that doctor that I searched for her until I found her. The rest you already know and till this day she is my wonderful primary doctor.

Here is where it got tricky for me...

I had to find a cardiologist because during my begin tumor time I had severe increased heart palpitation due to the anemia (hence why doctors kept blaming my PTSD/Anxiety for my heart racing). Unlike my primary doctor where I finally remembered her wonderful care and searched for her, I couldn't do that with a heart doctor. It took me about a month to find a way but I finally figured it out.

I used http://www.zocdoc.com/. Now keep in mind I live in the USA. You can enter your zip code in this site and search for doctors in your area by their specialty and what you need. (cardiologist, gynecologist, dermatologist. etc). The site gives you a picture of the doctor, the overall review of how patients felt with them, how their manners are, the wait time, how their office is handled by their workers, and additional comments the patient may have.

There I searched for a 5 star doctor. I don't settle for less. You can enter your insurance on that site as well and it will narrow down which doctors works with your insurance. I also pay close attention to what people have to say about the doctor. For example some comments made in regards to my cardiologist are "He is very passionate about his job which shows he is genuine about helping his patients", Great at explaining the reasons for your concerns and how he will further examine what problems you may have.", "He is an amazing doctor. I never feel rushed and he always takes the time to listen to all my concerns.", and "He did not rush me and was actually very patient, empathetic, and funny for such an early morning.

Some of the comments for another doctor I found via that site are: "She was an awesome doctor", "She makes you feel comfortable and doesn't rush whenever she is with you.", "easy to talk to about my health concerns.", "She was great!! Listened to all my concerns and tried to find a solution.", "made me feel very welcomed and comfortable, even with my anxiety visiting the doctors office.", "Absolutely amazing, I haven't gone to the doctor in three years because its hard to find a GOOD doctor who listens and truly cares. And now I have found one.", and "She sets the bar for the way doctors should treat their patients. Not many go out of their way to help people feel better....Great listener to one needs. Bottom line, she's the best doctor one could hope to find."

I have used this site many times and so far the comments have nailed exactly! who the doctors are. I have yet to say the site has disappointed me or the comments shared have been false. In fact! I am always! shocked at how precise the comments are to the doctors personality and way of treating the patient. I now look for key words when reviewing a doctor "Not rushed", "listens to concerns" and "patient". If those words are not found in the review along with a 5 star rating, then I am most likely not visiting. 

Remember that this is your health and your money. Even if you are under a government insurance, it is still your rights to find the best care you deserve. You wouldn't keep going to a restaurant you dislike, a hairdresser or barber that cuts your hair the wrong way, or a mechanic that keeps cheating you of your money but never fixes your car problems. So then why feel guilty for searching for the best doctor you deserve?

The best doctors won't care what other doctors have shared about you and how "problematic" you are. All they care about is taking care of your concerns and providing you the best health care you should get. 

A simple google search along with your insurance should be able to pull up a review site for doctors in your country. Go out there and find the best health care you are entitled to <3

Take a look at these freebies from Poche HERE

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the follow-up post. Apparently the Zodoc site is not active in my area yet; there are no reviews or photos for *any* of the psychiatrists or psychologists who come up in my area, even though I entered several local zip codes. However, I did see one psychiatrist on the list I had been to before that I would *not* recommend. Within five minutes he had diagnosed me as bipolar based strictly on my talking too fast and fidgeting when, in fact, I have ADHD. (This has been confirmed by many other professionals, as well as a friend whose mother was bipolar and assured me that I am not.) However, this guy said there was no such thing as ADHD, that I had "fast-cycling bipolar disorder." He wanted to give me lithium or nothing. Needless to say, I didn't go back to see him again. Or the other psychiatrist who gave me the same diagnosis within the same five minutes of meeting me for the exact same reason. It's hard to believe there are still doctors allowed to practice today who don't believe in ADHD! In fact, I stormed out of his office because I had been looking for someone to help me taper off of clonazepam (to which I am still iatrogenically addicted, eight years later), and I had made the appointment stating that I was looking for someone to help me with a taper. Yet he wasted my time and money by insisted I needed MORE medication, not less, and it would be "irresponsible" of him to help me get off of benzodiazepines; therefore, if I wouldn't cooperate, he refused to help me. I was ready to commit suicide by the time I got home because I couldn't find anyone to prescribe me the benzos and help me to get off of them before it was too late (my PCP at the time told me he couldn't help me because he wouldn't prescribe benzos, and I had already seen every psychiatrist in the city that he knew of, so "good luck with that, bye"). I ended up in the ER that day, a horrible ordeal much like you describe that discourages anyone from seeking help when they are feeling suicidal. (I have been to all three of the hospitals in this city that have psych wards, and they all treat you the same--like a contaminated animal. Except if you treated an animal the way we humans are treated in psychiatric wards, the Human Society would have you arrested.)

    Benzos have ruined my life, and, in my experience with MANY different psychiatrists over the years (a psychotherapist I begged to help me find a good one told me that they all gossip about their patients and that I had a reputation and wouldn't be able to find one to help me), psychiatrists are nothing more than drug pushers in the pockets of Big Pharma. Luckily, after years of desperation, I finally found a compassionate PCP who actually listens and takes me seriously (with the support of a really good psychologist), and she now prescribes *all* of my meds.

    What I have learned from all this is that there is nothing worse than a mental-health professional who's authorized to prescribe meds. The "M.D." gives them all a God complex, and the AMA has them convinced that Big Pharma the answer to everything. If one medication gives you bad side effects, instead of helping you get off of it, they'll give you another med to counteract it, and another to counteract the side effects to that one, and so on. Psychiatrists are not in the business of helping or caring about their patients. Their goal is to turn us into docile zombies who do what we're told and don't make waves.

    Susan

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    1. I am sorry to hear that you had to go through these experiences and that Zocdoc is not active in your area. I am however happy that you have found a good, caring doctor that helps you and listens to your concerns. It is great to know that you kept searching until you found a good doctor and didn't give up after the first few bad experiences. There are some really good doctors, therapist, and psychiatrist out there, unfortunately we just have to search for them. Hopefully one day they will be all easy to find =]

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  2. Hi there, I was checking out your blog just now and had a quick question. I was hoping that you could email me back when you have a moment. I really appreciate your time and response!

    - Cameron

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  3. Hi Cameron, I apologize for the delay in response. If you would just leave me your email, I would be more than happy to email you =]

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