Friday, February 10, 2012

One Woman's Journey to Find a Good Doc

Find a great doctor is truly priceless. Of course this is true for everyone but it becomes even more important when you have a chronic condition. Unfortunately they can be difficult to find and not every area is guaranteed to have one.

Because of all the moving around my husband and I have done since the onset of my chronic migraines, finding a new doc is something I have way more experience at than I would like. Each move brought about tremendous stress as I began searching. Asking somebody about their experiences, or another doctor you trust is the best way to find one. Unfortunately that's not always possible, especially if you have something as complicated as chronic migraines.

I've been pretty lucky. The wonderful local migraine doc I have right now is the direct result of 4 lucky events. Lucky event number 1: When we moved to the DC area I went online to start searching for migraine specialists in the area. My search turned up an interesting article on the Georgetown University Hospital's website about one of their docs who was performing a surgical procedure that was having tremendous results in helping those with chronic migraines. I called his office and was told that I needed to get set up with one of the local neurologists that he works with and be seen there first. They sent me the name of one who was closest to our apartment.

Lucky event number 2: I really liked this doc. She was very professional, on top of things, thorough, understanding and a good listener. We reached a point where it seemed like a good idea to head to Mayo and see someone there to see if there was something she was missing. Yep, she thought this was a great idea and made the referral to someone in Internal Medicine - as that was the entry point to the system.

Lucky event number 3: The Internist I saw, of course, sent me to see someone in the headache clinic. Of course you can't just get an appointment like that in a week. My appointment was scheduled for several months out, but since I had traveled so far I went ahead and sat around the waiting room hoping to score a cancellation or no show appointment. I got one the next day with the wonderful Dr Garza (who I've spoken about before), who agreed to remain my doc even though I lived so far away.

Lucky event number 4: When my husband and I moved to St Louis, Dr Garza told me about a wonderful doc whom he had trained with in school, residency and in the headache clinic. He had nothing but glowing things to say about his colleague and friend here at Washington University Hospital, saying that I would be in the best of hands. Worth a try, don't you think? It has turned out as good as I could have expected. The migraine doc I see now does a great deal of research so he has an inquisitive mind. He is a good listener and a reasonable man.

Many times I have viewed all the moving around we have done as a real negative for someone like me who needs to be followed by a qualified and trusted doc, but when I look back on the path I've taken I think one legitimate strength has been the infusion of fresh eyes overseeing my situation. Each doc has had their own approach, their own strengths and weaknesses. I appreciate having been able to see myself and my condition through these different eyes.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for lucky events and amen to the statement that a good doctor is truly priceless!