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?

@becsbuddy

@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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@becsbuddy and all. I just had a call from a Dr. mine is on vacation. I now have a L4 fracture besides my L2 which was fractured . He said they ususlly treated it symptomatically or a injection of cement . I don't know what I'm going to do . When I had my L2 in 05 I refused the cement but with this fracture down so far I don't know . My MRI was at a free standing one.

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@becsbuddy

@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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@becsbuddy When I had my xray done at the hospital it showed a fracture This is what I cant understand why did they discharge me then and not do anything at that point. This is what I'm disappointed in.

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@hopeful33250

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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@hopeful33250 Yes I have a portal and checked it frequently lately with no results on it

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@artscaping

@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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I am also having trouble.
I am very troubled by what has happened to me. I was HUGE supporter and lately they just don’t care. You would think I would be a person of study given my unique situation. Oh well. I will continue to see my regular cardiologist and do my best to fight every day. Sorry you are experiencing hardship as well. We are patients..not numbers

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@lioness

@becsbuddy When I had my xray done at the hospital it showed a fracture This is what I cant understand why did they discharge me then and not do anything at that point. This is what I'm disappointed in.

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@lioness I'm sorry to hear about your fracture. I'm hoping you can get the help you need. I don't know if this information will help with your decisions, but I found an article about complications of cement used for spinal fractures. God bless. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4479719/

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It wasn't me that had a bone fracture! I have Chiari malformation, and a cyst on my spine. They want to cut my head open and remove a piece of my SKULL to relieve the pressure on my spinal cord. And they don t know what's causing the nerve damage on my left side! They are hoping the surgery will help! I'm scared to death! And my husband of 30 yrs dnt want me to have the surgery! Thanks for the repely

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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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I agree, this is an important topic in healthcare, I have battled this a few times locally. Mayo and the collaborative way they care for patients and work outside their own network was truly an eye opener. I now consider it one of the most important qualifications of a new specialist.

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@resawaller

It wasn't me that had a bone fracture! I have Chiari malformation, and a cyst on my spine. They want to cut my head open and remove a piece of my SKULL to relieve the pressure on my spinal cord. And they don t know what's causing the nerve damage on my left side! They are hoping the surgery will help! I'm scared to death! And my husband of 30 yrs dnt want me to have the surgery! Thanks for the repely

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@resawaller I know people that have had that surgery for chiari. It has helped both of them. Of course, the thought of having this surgery is terrifying. But it truly does help.

Blessings,
JoDee

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@wintergirl8

I am also having trouble.
I am very troubled by what has happened to me. I was HUGE supporter and lately they just don’t care. You would think I would be a person of study given my unique situation. Oh well. I will continue to see my regular cardiologist and do my best to fight every day. Sorry you are experiencing hardship as well. We are patients..not numbers

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Hi @wintergirl8, you'll notice that I removed your personal email address from your message above. Because Connect is a public forum, we recommend members use the secure private message function to exchange personal contact information.

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@gingerw

@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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I am so glad you found a doctor willing to work with others. Complicated health issues are hard enough without having to deal with healthcare systems that act like 5 year olds with corporate greed.

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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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Here's the link to the related new discussion that @jolinda started. I look forward to reading your comments there.
– Navigating conflicting medical oppinions to be your own advocate. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/navigating-conflicting-medical-oppinions-to-be-your-own-advocate/

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@lioness

@hopeful33250 Yes I have a portal and checked it frequently lately with no results on it

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When there is “news the facility feels the doctor needs to give the patient-being me” I have found my test results never show up on the portals until after they have notified me. If results are normal, they are posted in a timely manner. I’m guessing it maybe most medical facilities policies……I have since concluded it means I’m getting bad news whenever my test results don’t show up after a few days…..although I do get a more thorough answer and it’s usually not as bad as I imagined……so really, in most cases, I don’t understand their premise for keeping the results from us. Our journeys are challenging…take care💞

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@jenniferhunter

@lioness I'm sorry to hear about your fracture. I'm hoping you can get the help you need. I don't know if this information will help with your decisions, but I found an article about complications of cement used for spinal fractures. God bless. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4479719/

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@jenniferhunter Thanks for the information Jennifer . The Dr. told me the Khyphoplasty as the last suggestion so I took that he wasn't in favor or it. When in 05 I fractured the L2 they wanted to put cement in I talked it over with a lot of people and decided against it for lots of reasons , then when I came here a friend had it and it and it did break of I was so glad I didn't have it . I'm doing what my chiropractor told me about ice,heat and tens unit my back does feel better and I think is healing on its own. I have scheduled an appointment with my pain Dr. He will have the results also. Thanks for your concern

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@resawaller

It wasn't me that had a bone fracture! I have Chiari malformation, and a cyst on my spine. They want to cut my head open and remove a piece of my SKULL to relieve the pressure on my spinal cord. And they don t know what's causing the nerve damage on my left side! They are hoping the surgery will help! I'm scared to death! And my husband of 30 yrs dnt want me to have the surgery! Thanks for the repely

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@resawaller I'm sorry to hear about your worry and it is . I'm the one that just found out I have a fracture . Once they release the pressure and remove the cyst your nerve damage should be corrected I would think. I would be scared also but if you have faith and trust in your Dr. that is half the battle. How old are you Since you,ve been married for 30yrs I'm thinking in your 50,s Look at the positive if its gone then you,ll be back to your old self. Good luck with what ever you decide.

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@gingerw

@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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@gingerw I think my PCP is a real “company man” trying to refer me to doctors who are also owned by the same hospital, but when I say I have a different doctor not part of that, he is fine with that too. I sort of have a “love-hate” relationship with him.
I am not sure when he orders a test if he is just being very diligent or if he is just trying to make more money for the hospitals.
JK

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