Arthritis Patient Seeking Dr. Right

Happy Valentine’s Day, arthritis friends!

“Doctors” is a popular topic at my young adult support group meetings. I’m lucky that the two rheumatologists I’ve seen for my arthritis have both been excellent. But, more often than not, people I know tend to complain about their doctors.

For those that are not so lucky to have a great rheumy, it might be worth your while to check out RateMDs.com. You can browse doctors by city and specialty, and you can also look up specific doctors. I wouldn’t use this tool as your only source of information about a potential doc, but I think it could be a helpful resource, especially for someone who has just been diagnosed.

Say you get a doctor recommendation for a rheumatologist and he/she has mostly negative reviews on RateMDs.com, you might want to seek out another recommendation or do some further homework before making an appointment. Of course everyone’s perception and experience is different, so keep that in mind when doc hunting.

If you are curious like me, you can use look up your current doc to see what other people are saying about him/her. I plan on adding positive reviews for the two rheumatologists that I’ve seen, and a negative review for my ex-GP who once looked up my symptom (altered sense of taste) on the Internet. Um, I could have done that for free at home in my pajamas.

Three Simple Ways to Find a Rheumatologist

  • Obtain a referral from a doctor you trust and like.
  • Call your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and ask for a doctor recommendation.
  • Find a support group for the type of arthritis that you have and ask people in the group for doctors that they’ve had a good experience with.

Just like you wouldn’t settle in a romantic relationship, don’t stay with a doctor you don’t like. If you feel that you don’t get good care from your doc, don’t give up. Search for a new one, even if it takes seeing a few bad doctors to get to a good one. Stick with it, your health is worth the trouble.

This Valentine’s Day, give your doctor some love, or find a doctor you may start a beautiful relationship with.

RateMDs.com