It’s an unfortunate fact of life that many people who suffer from painful diseases, such as arthritis, tend to accept that their pain is inevitable, and leave it for as long as possible before seeking medical advice and/or attention.
This course of action is not to be recommended, as early treatment can certainly help, and of course save the sufferer years of needless pain. It is advisable to take some care when choosing a doctor, however, as not all medical professionals are best qualified to give advice on individual diseases-believe it or not, some of them are still of the opinion that arthritis is a disease that only occurs in the elderly. It is therefore important to find a doctor who has a good knowledge of your disability, and preferably one with a sympathetic ear as well.
When looking for a suitable doctor, remember that some of them who refer to themselves as specialists aren’t necessarily that, as they don’t have all the credentials to use the word. “U.S. News & World Report” estimated that around 30% of “specialists” were in this category. A doctor who has gone through formal specialty training, and has passed the necessary exams is a “diplomat” or a “board certified” specialist. Others who are so-called specialists might have quite a lot of expertise or experience, but have not met the requirements of the specialty board examiners.
Of course, you must remember that credentials are not everything. Quite often, you’ll find it helpful if you get a good referral from a friend, or even from someone else in the medical profession. It’s also quite often the case that the most sought after doctors are, naturally, the busiest, the result being that they have less time and, dare I say it, energy, to devote to each individual. It follows that the quality of care that you can expect to receive will be somewhat diminished.
When you do find a doctor with whom you feel you can have a good relationship, and you’re fairly sure that he can help you, there are some things that you can do yourself to make things easier all round.
Think beforehand about what you want to tell the doctor. It’s usually better to tell him/her orally, as some of them do not take kindly to seeing a long list of written items. Try not to take too long in explaining your symptoms, but make sure that you are specific. You can also ask questions if there are things that are still puzzling you.
Being able to communicate properly with your doctor is a great help-if you find that you’re not able to do so, it’s probably time to look around for another one.