Your Tips on How to Get Off to the Best Start with a New Specialist

I’m looking for your best tips.
Starting a relationship with a new specialist can be daunting. You want to get off to a good start and ensure that you establish mutual respect and are able to develop trust. You want to know you’re in good hands. What is their expertise and experience? What research are they doing? Will they listen and consider your input?

How do you get off to the best start with a new provider? What suggestions would you tell a friend who is going to see a new doctor?

@gingerw

@artscaping Oooooh, that was an unprofessional thing for the local surgeon to say! I was very lucky when living in Los Angeles County, that my two specialists often conferred with each other, although they were not in the same medical group. Between them, they have guided me along my current path. Thanks to a member here reaching out when asked, I was able to connect before my move to a well-respected, Mayo Clinic trained specialist a couple of hours away, whom I will see for the first time tomorrow. He has agreed to take my case and has communicated with my former hematologist-oncologist.
Ginger

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@gingerw, it sounds like you have found a great collaborative solution. That was my experience. The two or three orthopedic surgeons (different body parts) all supported each other, discussed options, and priorities. After a successful TKR, my surgeon asked me to come with him to visit other surgeons because I walked immediately and had no issues. Then I made a video for him to use with educational programs. He was a guiding light in my life.

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@auntieoakley

I'm so sorry your husband's doctor was so harsh. It's devastating enough to have such a tough diagnosis but to add a comment like that on top of it must have been devastating. I'm glad you found your way to Mayo.

I am so baffled by the rivalry amongst medical institutions, it is childish at best.

I agree with you that Mayo is different and very special, I am blessed to have had such great care. Some places I have been the doctors get a kick-back for the tests they prescribe but not at Mayo, if you get a test it is because you need it. Mayo's transplant department would be even better if they had a lower nurse to patient ratio post transplant and if there were greater continuity between the patients and their post care doctors.

I'm glad you and your hubby didn't listen to your local doc. I agree a little longer drive if very worth it. How is your hubby? Is he ok?

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@auntieoakley

I had a local doctor who didn’t play well with others, I had not thought much about it until my husband got multiple myeloma and another local doctor said if he went for a second opinion to a cancer center or Mayo not to come back. That is when I decided the politics of health in our area was fostering this. Then we went to Mayo and found out what it was like to have care that actually cared about the patients and not just keeping every medical dollar in the local system. This is why I now seek out doctors that are willing to coordinate with others, even if it means a bit of driving.

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@auntieoakley Two years ago I was part of a county health plan. When I rebelled against the nephrologist assigned to me, I changed and went out-of-network for a new kidney dr. In turn, she discovered concerns that should have been addressed years ago, and referred me to a hematologist-oncologist [had to go out-of-network] I remember my primary telling me, "Well, I think this is all overkill. Needless bloodwork and tests" showing to me he [as a representative for the county medical plan] just didn't want to spend the money to have healthy patients. Yep, right on the spot I dressed him down, referring to past lab results, and questioning why he as my primary didn't recognize and address the trend spotted. While I get all my results in print, I am still not a medical professional to stitch them together.
My new primary in this area is happy to work with others.
Ginger

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Anyone know how to print this entire thread (iphone)? Thanks!!

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@ees1

Anyone know how to print this entire thread (iphone)? Thanks!!

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@ees1
Open a blank Microsoft Word page (or whatever you use), copy each conversation which you wish to keep and paste them on the Word page. Voila!

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@auntieoakley, I can so relate. I think I could have improved treatment outcomes if I had been that brave. I grew up in the '50s when physicians were Gods. I broke an ankle roller skating while on vacation. It had to be set just right by a specialist who said the break was hard to see but that he caught it in the X-rays.

Upon returning to my home town and visiting the family doctor, he refused to get the x-rays or talk with the orthopedic specialist. Then he convinced my parents to let him remove the cast and told me to just walk on it and everything would be o.k. Of course, it wasn't and I had to have surgery later to repair the break by putting a leash around the ligaments so they didn't get torn by the bone fragments. Wonderful!!!!!! and I was all of 19. So I began my adult life with a chronic condition and distrust of doctors of any kind.

My mother actually paid her old high school friend a visit because he had been asked to do the new X-rays. He acknowledged the findings but refused to speak up against a colleague.

Finally, I am changing and the experience at Mayo has been immensely helpful. First and foremost….do no harm. May you have a harmonious and beautiful day. Chris

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My father felt walking on a sprained ankle was the best treatment. In your case broken was bad when he refused to even look. Be sure you trust your doctor and since we live in the free USA, we can change a doctor when we do not.

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@artscaping

@auntieoakley, I can so relate. I think I could have improved treatment outcomes if I had been that brave. I grew up in the '50s when physicians were Gods. I broke an ankle roller skating while on vacation. It had to be set just right by a specialist who said the break was hard to see but that he caught it in the X-rays.

Upon returning to my home town and visiting the family doctor, he refused to get the x-rays or talk with the orthopedic specialist. Then he convinced my parents to let him remove the cast and told me to just walk on it and everything would be o.k. Of course, it wasn't and I had to have surgery later to repair the break by putting a leash around the ligaments so they didn't get torn by the bone fragments. Wonderful!!!!!! and I was all of 19. So I began my adult life with a chronic condition and distrust of doctors of any kind.

My mother actually paid her old high school friend a visit because he had been asked to do the new X-rays. He acknowledged the findings but refused to speak up against a colleague.

Finally, I am changing and the experience at Mayo has been immensely helpful. First and foremost….do no harm. May you have a harmonious and beautiful day. Chris

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@artscaping
@auntieoakley
@gingerw
I think this is an important enough topic to be its own discussion. There are many patients who could benefit greatly from your stories. I will start it as it's own discussion.

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@jolinda

@artscaping
I had a nearly identical conversation with a Dr. on my local team while pursuing an experimental combined surgery/kidney transplant at Mayo. He was absolutely convinced I would come back as a cobbled together mess. Fortunately my instincts were right and my Mayo surgery was such a success that my cautious local doc is now referring other patients for the same surgery combo. I think he had seen a few bad cases come back to him and didn't want the same thing for me.
On the flip side I have struggled with my Mayo experience on the "back end" of transplant. The "team" approach lacks the ability for any one person to know you and your journey. I tried to get around the system and scheduled my visits with the same Dr. after transplant but succeeded for only a short while, now I get who ever has an opening on their schedule. The post transplant teams and nurses especially are overwhelmed with hundreds of patients cases and it's almost impossible for them to know you as a person.

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@jolinda. Oh my, is this childish behavior still going on? Learning to be your own advocate, and giving up on the medical "Gods" is where we need to be. I am very interested in your back end Mayo experience. I remember that we were given a special # to call 7/24. They told us that no matter when, we would always speak with a member of the "team". And that is what happened…..on Sunday evening at about 9 pm with some edema showing up, we called and spoke to a physician who we had met previously. He was confident and we felt comfortable with his suggestions.

And then came the diagnosis of recurring cancer in a couple of years. So…off we went for 7 weeks of treatment in Rochester. That team was just amazing. We loved the Nurse Practitioners, the actual treatment team and our oncologist. My feeling was that during a team meeting at the beginning of the week, everyone was updated on their scheduled patient's journeys. We surmised this by the questions they asked us. We always saw a team member and it seemed to me that there was transparency and knowledgeable effort to give the best patient care. So, while there may still be work to do…Mayo has the right patient care map. My partner actually learned everyone's name and when he left he had cards of gratitude for everyone.

Six months later when we went back again, they greeted us by name. We also tried to figure out how many patients they must see in a day. It is mind-boggling. And how are they so cheery at 7:30 in the morning? My very best for a beautiful day. Chris

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@jolinda

@artscaping
@auntieoakley
@gingerw
I think this is an important enough topic to be its own discussion. There are many patients who could benefit greatly from your stories. I will start it as it's own discussion.

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@jolinda, @auntieoakley, @gingerw. That might be a great idea….it will be good to know what folks expectations are for interfacing with the medical staff. Then maybe we can help clarify what that model might look like.. I am/was a client-centered therapist….also called a Rogerian. My understanding is that Mayo is advocating the need for a patient-centered practitioner experience that is transferrable to any medical institution. May you be content and have an easy breezy day.

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@artscaping

@auntieoakley, I can so relate. I think I could have improved treatment outcomes if I had been that brave. I grew up in the '50s when physicians were Gods. I broke an ankle roller skating while on vacation. It had to be set just right by a specialist who said the break was hard to see but that he caught it in the X-rays.

Upon returning to my home town and visiting the family doctor, he refused to get the x-rays or talk with the orthopedic specialist. Then he convinced my parents to let him remove the cast and told me to just walk on it and everything would be o.k. Of course, it wasn't and I had to have surgery later to repair the break by putting a leash around the ligaments so they didn't get torn by the bone fragments. Wonderful!!!!!! and I was all of 19. So I began my adult life with a chronic condition and distrust of doctors of any kind.

My mother actually paid her old high school friend a visit because he had been asked to do the new X-rays. He acknowledged the findings but refused to speak up against a colleague.

Finally, I am changing and the experience at Mayo has been immensely helpful. First and foremost….do no harm. May you have a harmonious and beautiful day. Chris

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@artscaping I can relate to the distrust of Dr,s Ive been waiting 3 weeks to find out what the MRI said about my recent back pain. Havent heard anything Doing what the chiropractor told me about exercise and using the Tens unit,ice and heat . They don't seem to know anything anymore and won,t take information from the patient . They still think they are Gods. So fed up with the medical society.

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@lioness

@artscaping I can relate to the distrust of Dr,s Ive been waiting 3 weeks to find out what the MRI said about my recent back pain. Havent heard anything Doing what the chiropractor told me about exercise and using the Tens unit,ice and heat . They don't seem to know anything anymore and won,t take information from the patient . They still think they are Gods. So fed up with the medical society.

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@lioness 3 weeks is a long time to wait! I’m so sorry, @lioness . Was the MRI done at a medical center or hospital or a free-standing MRI center? If a hospital, they should have a portal where you can see everything. Check with the hospital and also call the doctor’s office for info on using the portal. I have 3 portals that I use and get results of all my tests! Works great! Good luck! Becky

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@lioness

@artscaping I can relate to the distrust of Dr,s Ive been waiting 3 weeks to find out what the MRI said about my recent back pain. Havent heard anything Doing what the chiropractor told me about exercise and using the Tens unit,ice and heat . They don't seem to know anything anymore and won,t take information from the patient . They still think they are Gods. So fed up with the medical society.

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Hi @lioness, I'm sorry to hear that you are not getting feedback from your doctor about your MRI. Do you use the patient portal to get test results and other health-related information?

I would think that after three weeks the MRI results should have posted to the patient portal. If they have, you can read them and then jot down questions for your doctor about anything that concerns you or that you do not understand.

How are you dealing with the pain and other symptoms?

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@lioness

@artscaping I can relate to the distrust of Dr,s Ive been waiting 3 weeks to find out what the MRI said about my recent back pain. Havent heard anything Doing what the chiropractor told me about exercise and using the Tens unit,ice and heat . They don't seem to know anything anymore and won,t take information from the patient . They still think they are Gods. So fed up with the medical society.

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@lioness, Oh dear me @lioness. I hoped that things would have changed. I don't think I met any "god-pretenders" at Mayo. and you know what…..I have noticed that even within the veterinary specialties that have kind of appeared rather rapidly, I do see consultive practices and patient center treatment. These are usually under the auspices of the university. I am very impressed.

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@jolinda

@artscaping
I had a nearly identical conversation with a Dr. on my local team while pursuing an experimental combined surgery/kidney transplant at Mayo. He was absolutely convinced I would come back as a cobbled together mess. Fortunately my instincts were right and my Mayo surgery was such a success that my cautious local doc is now referring other patients for the same surgery combo. I think he had seen a few bad cases come back to him and didn't want the same thing for me.
On the flip side I have struggled with my Mayo experience on the "back end" of transplant. The "team" approach lacks the ability for any one person to know you and your journey. I tried to get around the system and scheduled my visits with the same Dr. after transplant but succeeded for only a short while, now I get who ever has an opening on their schedule. The post transplant teams and nurses especially are overwhelmed with hundreds of patients cases and it's almost impossible for them to know you as a person.

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@jolinda. At MGH each transplant surgeon has their own team for Post-transplant. I always see my surgeon and the others whom I feel very familiar with. It works out very well there. I suppose if my surgeon left MGH I would be assigned to one of the other two surgeons who were also there for my surgery.

@artscaping I feel the same way at MGH, the doctors do not seem to have God-complexes. It’s so funny, people up here in southern NH think the doctors in Boston must be very impersonal but I see more of that with doctors up here!
JK

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