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?

@contentandwell

@susan8 I lived outside of Manchester, NH and go to the Boston area for most of my medical care. People up here think that the care in the big city hospitals is uncaring and impersonal but I find just the opposite to be true. My primary Boston hospital is Mass General but I have also had care at doctors associated with Brigham and Women's and Mount Auburn in Cambridge. The doctors I have seen are far more attentive than the doctors here are. Such an irony. I adore Mass General.
JK

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@contentandwell i also have hearn mass general is a great hosp. But a couple of years ago i had the opportunity to visit my mother who was at a hosp in Albany NY. I was not impressed. Besides the fact they charge extra for everything like phone and tv i thought the nursing staff were kinda of on the rude side. I jave spent most of my time at phoenix area hospitals and have had the best drs and nurses at two of the hospitals i used mostly. Chandler Regional and Mayo. Besides phone tv plus free movies the staff is awesome. Food could be a little better but i like the idea of ordering of a menu and there is quite a selection. So maybe im just lucky but based on my experience west is best in my book. Lol also i have to say there was one exception. I actually was born and raised in Mass and RI. 2 of my kids were born in at the time the new woman's and infants hosp in Providence. They were one of the best hospitals ill have to admit.

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@danab

@contentandwell i also have hearn mass general is a great hosp. But a couple of years ago i had the opportunity to visit my mother who was at a hosp in Albany NY. I was not impressed. Besides the fact they charge extra for everything like phone and tv i thought the nursing staff were kinda of on the rude side. I jave spent most of my time at phoenix area hospitals and have had the best drs and nurses at two of the hospitals i used mostly. Chandler Regional and Mayo. Besides phone tv plus free movies the staff is awesome. Food could be a little better but i like the idea of ordering of a menu and there is quite a selection. So maybe im just lucky but based on my experience west is best in my book. Lol also i have to say there was one exception. I actually was born and raised in Mass and RI. 2 of my kids were born in at the time the new woman's and infants hosp in Providence. They were one of the best hospitals ill have to admit.

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@danab it’s great that so many of us feel that OUR HOSPITAL is the best. The one downside of Mass General is also the food. Once when one of the doctors asked me how everything was I told him everything but the food was great. His response was “best hospital, but worst food”!
The nurses are great there too. It’s a “magnet hospital” which has to do with the nursing care. So different from the Manchester hospital I was in a few times before my transplant. I could count the good nurses on one hand, and I had quite a few nurses having had 3 or 4 stays there.
JK

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@kmart

My PCP has advised for me to begin taking a statin. My cholesterol is 210 ( I am 76 yrs old and have been working out my entire adult life). I had a brain tumor removed from my optic nerve 12/18 and then a subdural bilateral bleed requiring a craniotomy and burr hole on 2/22/19. On 3/13/19 had to have another emergency surgery for a bleed requiring another craniotomy and burr hole. This bleed also caused a midline shift. All of the above put me at a higher risk for a stroke therefor the recommendation of a statin. I am not convinced that this is necessary and am very interested in your information. If you have any other information that may help me decide I would be very interested.

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I am 70 and take a statin due to a high plaque burden in my coronary arteries. I've read that 75 is the cut-off age for positive benefits of statins, but since you have been active and fit your whole life, your biological age is likely younger. You don't say what your LDL cholesterol is or if you've had coronary artery disease. This information may weigh on your decision. In your shoes, I'd get a 2nd opinion, especially given your reluctance to start on statins, which do have side effects for a significant number of people.

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I like to listen to everything the doctor says, answer their questions, then ask my questions. I expect to be treated with the same respect I afford them. I always like to make sure that they know I am not questioning their abilities, just asking for information or clarification. But if they are dismissive, I will usually move on to another doctor. We pay so much for medical care that I feel I should be able to feel comfortable that my questions are answered. Because I have been my husbands caregiver and we have been at Mayo for extended times, I understand how it should be.

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Agree with you totally!

Liked by Alma Villarreal

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@contentandwell

@susan8 I lived outside of Manchester, NH and go to the Boston area for most of my medical care. People up here think that the care in the big city hospitals is uncaring and impersonal but I find just the opposite to be true. My primary Boston hospital is Mass General but I have also had care at doctors associated with Brigham and Women's and Mount Auburn in Cambridge. The doctors I have seen are far more attentive than the doctors here are. Such an irony. I adore Mass General.
JK

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First, it’s @susan62 not @susan8. Thank you for making a note of this. Second, reading your reply I am led to believe that you are under the impression that I believe that the Mayo is the ONLY good clinic/hospital. That is not my opinion. There certainly are other very good ones. Personally though, because of my experience, my husband’s, my sister’s, my mother’s, my sister-in-law’s my uncle’s, my cousin’s and numerous friends, the Mayo has become the only place for us.
Since @cocoon6 is set up to be seen at Mayo, I wanted to tell what my experience has been there and offer support. Again, I never intended to give the impression that it is the ONLY place where one can get good treatment, compassion and respect.

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@susan62 I think that any of us who have found a great hospital tend to think it’s the best. I’m happy that the Mayo patients feel that way about Mayo. I did not think that you gave the impression that Mayo was the ONLY great hospital.
I must admit, since this forum is sponsored by Mayo I am generally greatly outnumbered. If MGH had this type of forum I would obviously be active on that, not Mayo. I think Mayo provides a great service by having a forum like this, that all are welcome to participate in. Conferring with other patients can be hugely helpful and reassuring.
JK

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@contentandwell

@susan8 I lived outside of Manchester, NH and go to the Boston area for most of my medical care. People up here think that the care in the big city hospitals is uncaring and impersonal but I find just the opposite to be true. My primary Boston hospital is Mass General but I have also had care at doctors associated with Brigham and Women's and Mount Auburn in Cambridge. The doctors I have seen are far more attentive than the doctors here are. Such an irony. I adore Mass General.
JK

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I so agree with @contentandwell JK . I had a friend whose wife was an anesthesiologist at Mass General. When we first moved there he told me that if I got hit by a car or had a heart attack to make sure I shouted out "Take me to Mass General." We were there for 10 years and I loved the doctors, nurses and caring compassion of all the staff. When we moved to FL, I despaired of ever finding anything like that level of care. Then we found Mayo in Jacksonville. Whew! I guess I lead a charmed life.

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I have my first appt. with Mayo, Jacksonville on Aug 5. for mac but since I made the appointment other problems have developed. Does anyone know if they can handle my other problems? for example, I am having problems with my Pancreas now that I have been on the "big 3" for 6 months. and my site is getting worse. I fill like I am going around in circles not knowing what kind of doctor to go to.

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@jammer

I have my first appt. with Mayo, Jacksonville on Aug 5. for mac but since I made the appointment other problems have developed. Does anyone know if they can handle my other problems? for example, I am having problems with my Pancreas now that I have been on the "big 3" for 6 months. and my site is getting worse. I fill like I am going around in circles not knowing what kind of doctor to go to.

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I don’t know what Mac is or if the other problems are related, but my personal experience is that if you ask when you are there, they want to help the whole person.

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@debbraw

I so agree with @contentandwell JK . I had a friend whose wife was an anesthesiologist at Mass General. When we first moved there he told me that if I got hit by a car or had a heart attack to make sure I shouted out "Take me to Mass General." We were there for 10 years and I loved the doctors, nurses and caring compassion of all the staff. When we moved to FL, I despaired of ever finding anything like that level of care. Then we found Mayo in Jacksonville. Whew! I guess I lead a charmed life.

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@debbraw. I passed out and fell on my L side on Sunday (long story). Monday I hurt but Monday night I REALLY HURT. We ended up going to the local ER because that is the one area of that hospital that I think is ok. The personnel and the doctor I saw were good, and very thorough due to my fainting – they were concerned I might have a heart issue. I do not. Bottom line, I have a minor fracture of my femur. I can do whatever I can tolerate. To get to that point though, I was there for EIGHT hours! We were exhausted and hungry by the time we left, a little after 10 PM.
I just could not see driving over an hour to go to MGH for that. If they said I needed to be admitted we would have made the drive though. I wish we were a bit closer to Boston. If we manage to move I would like to move south to MA but my husband is opposed because we would lose a lot in income tax. NH has no income tax.
JK

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@contentandwell

@debbraw. I passed out and fell on my L side on Sunday (long story). Monday I hurt but Monday night I REALLY HURT. We ended up going to the local ER because that is the one area of that hospital that I think is ok. The personnel and the doctor I saw were good, and very thorough due to my fainting – they were concerned I might have a heart issue. I do not. Bottom line, I have a minor fracture of my femur. I can do whatever I can tolerate. To get to that point though, I was there for EIGHT hours! We were exhausted and hungry by the time we left, a little after 10 PM.
I just could not see driving over an hour to go to MGH for that. If they said I needed to be admitted we would have made the drive though. I wish we were a bit closer to Boston. If we manage to move I would like to move south to MA but my husband is opposed because we would lose a lot in income tax. NH has no income tax.
JK

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@contentandwell
Hey JK,
Sorry to hear of your Syncope episode. Did you lose consciousness or have pre syncope. Did they cast your leg? Since the femur is usually hard to brake I was curious if you have Osteoporosis or Osteopenia? Didn’t mean for this to be an inquisition. I hope it’s not to painful.
Take care,
Jake

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Hello everyone. Goodness, I have missed out on the best ideas! Well, when I met my Specialist who my aunt had previously met and did not care for. I looked up his bio and could not make a decision based upon my auntie's perspective. I always make sure I do not make judgment on any specialist until I see what type of connection we have. I do like to know who I am meeting with, in advance. After meeting with 14+ local specialists, this one was about a 2.5 hour drive. I had already filled out my paperwork, so it was just a matter of catching what he did differently than the other numerous specialists I met. I was very nervous and wanted to make sure I had everything in order. So, I already read his history, credentials and was also excited to meet him based upon the fact that I was hoping for that miracle to find out "what rare disease I had"; considering all of the local specialist I met with locally could not give me any ideas. I was originally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, then MS. I made sure to take a profile image with a variety of flares throughout my body. My hands and feet were the worst. It was a bit stressful considering I had already met with 14+ specialists where I lived. So I had an idea what "he might" be like, but I could not make a judgment call based on my aunts opinion. He already had medical records and had an idea what I was going through. My hubs and I were desperate for answers. He walked in the room and was very kind; my immediate impression was that he was a bit shy and very quiet. He asked many questions, let me share my pictures with him and I was filled with a bit of anxiety. I shared my images with him (which were kind of a mini journal), but my body gave away all of the examples I had printed for his viewing. He was very thorough, kind and attentive. He let me speak and share my story. He performed a few motion and flex tests. He watched how I walked and he was truly listening to me. Our meeting was about 2 hours. I was surprised as usually it was an "okay, next…lets take a look". The answer was always, "I have no idea what your problems and/or issues are. Everything looks fine." After 14 plus specialists, I just would now allow that to happen again. I know I did not have control of the situation. It was all up to my Neurologist to (hopefully), give me an idea or and preferably an answer to all of these strange things and severe pain that I was going through. The pictures I shared with him, were right in front of him. He said, "Well, we will need to do a few tests. However, I need you to come back for the tests." All I thought of was that I would be left hanging and waiting for an answer. At the end of our appointment, he was straight forward and said, "Well, depending on our tests you may have a, b, c or this very rare disease, but we need to wait for our other tests". My heart just dropped as tears starting flowing. The last possibility was a very rare 1 in a million neurological autoimmune disabling disorder called Stiff Person Syndrome. He was very kind and honest with me. This is my story, starting from day one. He was very sympathetic and told me things would be okay. I had worked in the legal field since I was 19. I had no idea what I was facing. All I could think of was, I cannot wait until I get to research this so called, "Stiff Person Syndrome". My final words to share with everyone is that, we must always give the Specialists we meet an opportunity to allow us time to get to know them. We must never make a judge others, just because another person you know did not have the nicest things to say. since 2009, I have established a very close relationship with my Neurologist. My husband was with me, of course. I was very honored to meet with him and get to know him through this fight and battle I have ensured. I truly trust my Neurologist and I am very happy when he is very helpful when he relays the pros and cons of my rare disease. We must always give people a chance and let each individual we meet show us what type of person he or she is. My neurologist is holding my heart and I completely trust him. There are so many judgmental people in this world. We must always let people we meet show us who they are…in just the same as we must do with others. It is very important to me to get to know someone. I cannot and do not never judge others based on others opinions. It takes two…just like a personal relationship. I felt sad when I had to leave. However, I could feel how much empathy my Neurologist had for me. I am very happy that I did not allow the words or thought of others to lead me in a different direction. My Neurologist is such a gentleman with clear compassion. I would never have known him if I had judged him before even getting to know him. 😉

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@contentandwell

@debbraw. I passed out and fell on my L side on Sunday (long story). Monday I hurt but Monday night I REALLY HURT. We ended up going to the local ER because that is the one area of that hospital that I think is ok. The personnel and the doctor I saw were good, and very thorough due to my fainting – they were concerned I might have a heart issue. I do not. Bottom line, I have a minor fracture of my femur. I can do whatever I can tolerate. To get to that point though, I was there for EIGHT hours! We were exhausted and hungry by the time we left, a little after 10 PM.
I just could not see driving over an hour to go to MGH for that. If they said I needed to be admitted we would have made the drive though. I wish we were a bit closer to Boston. If we manage to move I would like to move south to MA but my husband is opposed because we would lose a lot in income tax. NH has no income tax.
JK

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@contentandwell – Hello there. I just wanted to say that I am very sorry or what you are going through. Pain is such a horrible thing. One of these days, we shall have a miracle pill to take all of our ! I know it will not happen, but it's always nice to think of the something that makes you smile. I am sending you positive thoughts and blessings. I hope you are recover peacefully. 😉

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@contentandwell

@debbraw. I passed out and fell on my L side on Sunday (long story). Monday I hurt but Monday night I REALLY HURT. We ended up going to the local ER because that is the one area of that hospital that I think is ok. The personnel and the doctor I saw were good, and very thorough due to my fainting – they were concerned I might have a heart issue. I do not. Bottom line, I have a minor fracture of my femur. I can do whatever I can tolerate. To get to that point though, I was there for EIGHT hours! We were exhausted and hungry by the time we left, a little after 10 PM.
I just could not see driving over an hour to go to MGH for that. If they said I needed to be admitted we would have made the drive though. I wish we were a bit closer to Boston. If we manage to move I would like to move south to MA but my husband is opposed because we would lose a lot in income tax. NH has no income tax.
JK

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Oh, @contentandwell, I'm so sorry to hear of your fall and the resulting pain! How unfortunate. I know that any problem with the femur can be problematic and painful (even though it is considered a minor fracture).

Will you be seeing a specialist for the fracture of the femur?

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