How to Choose the RIGHT DOCTOR: (Patient Advocacy Series)

Edited by: Carmen Regallo-Dewitt (awarenessforacure.org editor)

Today, we exercise our freedom of choice to seek complete confidence in our decisions. Seeking what's right for you is just that! I support all patients to be well-informed with research and asking a lot of questions that pertain to their health and issues.  Do not be swayed by pressure just because this doctor takes your insurance or the popularity of that procedure. The almighty Google is still on your side to answer any question about anything and anyone, where making an intelligent choice must be strategic and thought through.

THE SECOND OPINION
From the moment your physician calls you about a debilitating illness,  that inner voice may express curiosity about what other treatment options another doctor would prescribe?  You may want to get another perspective on your current diagnosis or get another set of professional eyes to review your reports.  All these concerns are quite natural and common - especially when it comes to pursuing such a major commitment as cancer care.  We all want to gather all the information we can from trusted sources to build an intelligent direction that gives us complete confidence and peace of mind.  

To seek a SECOND OPINION is a patient's right as a cautious and educated consumer. This measure is also a smart financial coverage encouraged by insurance companies geared to prevent much higher claims from costly or 'wrongful' procedures.  Whether you're searching for a primary care physician or a specialist, shopping for any doctor can be quite a challenge. Ingredients for finding a professional that you can trust with your life rely heaviest on their reputation, expertise and qualifications found under smart research methods.  

REFERRALS: Though medical professionals are now participating in the commercial world of marketing (such as broadcast and podcast commercials, youtube videos, social media promotion and public relations campaigns), the largest and most popular method of deciding on a doctor is still word of mouth. At least starting with a recommendation from a friend, colleague or family member, getting positive feedback about a practitioner through others' experience is a great place to begin.

RESEARCH: Once you have a name (or several names to choose from), the next answer is conducting online searches. With more than a decade of evolution, the internet provides a wide expanse of research options of about any professional. From patient reviews, local directories, educational contributions, social media connections and background checks, the web helps with so many ways to check out any professional for any success as well as not-so-good-news about them.

Meanwhile, as you proceed with your online research, employ 'smart searching' by knowing where to look and what to look for. Do not make quick judgments about an individual based on a sexy looking website. There are many doctors out there that have little marketing sense that pay more attention (as they should) in working with their patients than working with a fancy graphic design firm. On the other hand, doctors' websites may come with video testimonials, news coverage, educational backgrounds and a list of their partners- all information that help describe the strength of their capabilities. All doctors carry a varied set of strong points academically and professionally and it's up to you to find the clues you need to make that choice.

Narrowing down your candidates also means being organized. Have a folder and notes on significant information gathered online and/or from others. Save links that show vital information from reputable websites that you can return to for comparative reviewing. In the end, sizing up a doctor is all about the collected facts about them that you choose to dictate your decision.

E-REVIEWS: Affirming our freedom of speech is the internet's best function. Reviews, ratings and consumer reviews are aplenty - allowing you an inside look at a doctor's performance but discern with caution when finding either a "sugary" five-star comment or a demoralizing bad opinion in YELP (or the various popular review websites). Over time, you'll find many nay-sayers freely and maliciously bashing a professional for something completely unrealistic like "They had me sitting in the waiting room for 25 minutes without anything to read - so unprofessional!" In other words, discern the SOURCE of the review and conduct a fair amount of research instead of taking the first available opinion.

MEET AND GREET: Doctors come with their own personalities that may or may not match yours. During the first consultation, you may get the best clues as to whether or not this particular doctor is for you. Just as with any other relationship-based professional, follow your instincts during the inquiry of your ailments. You can usually tell if they're rushing to get 'done with you' or if they truly care about exploring your issues through genuine concern for problem-solving. Select a doctor who shows true interest in recommending current techniques, applications and solutions and one who is open to remedies outside of the pharmaceutical box. Know that the healthcare field is a complex field of information that is constantly growing and requires continued education to provide the most current care.

YOUR COMFORT LEVEL: Intuition is your inner voice telling you what's right for you. Your comfort level can be driven by a host of logical and illogical factors varying from the doctor's gender, their location, the design style of their office, their bedside manner or something as silly as their hairstyle. We may not always be able to identify what it is about a doctor that you are either drawn to or may have some apprehension about but at the end of the day, it's how you feel about that practitioner.

The ultimate answer to matching with the "right" doctor is truly based on a per-patient case. Where recommendations may fail, follow your gut, research as much as you can and remember, if you're in doubt or have concerns, NEVER SETTLE! There's always a second, third or fourth opinion and a wide list of other docs to choose from.

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MEDICAL CONTRIBUTORS

Jesse A. Stoff is a highly-credentialed medical expert studying all medical remedies in pursuit of resolving the most challenging health issues of our time. In many circles, he is recognized for his 35+ years of dedicated work in immunology and advanced clinical research in modern CANCER treatments. He has spoken worldwide in some of the most sought-after medical conferences about his experiences and analyses on the study of human disease. His integrative practice (INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE OF NY, Westbury, NY) has been continually providing all patients with the many comprehensive clinical options and modalities available- including "ONCO-IMMUNOLOGY", the science of battling cancer cells and reversing pre-cancerous conditions through a complete prevention program that has earned him great success in this field.  For more information, visit: www.Dr.JesseStoff.com




Robert l. Bard, MD, PC, DABR, FASLMS is internationally known and recognized as a leader in the field of 21st century 3-d ultrasonographic volumetric doppler imaging. Dr. Bard specializes in advanced 3-D sonography to detect cancers in numerous organs including the breast, prostate, skin, thyroid, melanoma and other areas. Dr. Bard’s images are used to accurately guide biopsies, target therapy and provide focused follow-up after treatment.   Dr. Bard is currently in consulting practice in New York (cancerscan.com). He appears frequently on regional television, national radio and is a consultant to major healthcare organizations. He is committed to improving non-invasive cancer testing and developing minimally invasive image guided technologies to prevent cancer spread through his foundation, The Biofoundation for Angiogenesis Research and Development.  For more info, visit www.CancerScan.com.




COPYRIGHT INFO: This article is produced and written by the writing team at IMMUNOLOGY TODAY- The Official Newsletter of Integrative Medicine of N.Y. of Westbury NY-- Edited and co-published by Dr. Jesse A. Stoff exclusively for the purposes of this blogpost (Immunology Today) and rejuvenatesoliutions.com The publisher(s) hold all rights (c) to all elements, images and content herein.  All distribution, sharing or re-posting of this article is only with the express permission from Dr. Stoff and Integrative Medicine of NY (formerly Linchitz Medical Wellness). 265 Post Ave. Suite 380 Westbury, NY 11590  |  516.759.4200  |  www.StoffImmunology.com.   Rejuvenate! is a registered trademark of Intermedia Communications Ltd. All written content in this newsletter is produced by the Stoff Institute for Medical Research (SIMR) exclusively for private distribution at the Integrative Medicine of NY ©2016- All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER: All information provided in this article is intended as general public information and is not intended to treat or cure any disease or disorder. Dr. Jesse A. Stoff, Integrative medicine of NY, nor any individual or practitioner associated with the publishing of this article is not liable for any damages resulting from the use of the information on this article. As a visitor of this blogsite, you acknowledge and agree that any reliance on or use by you of any information available on this Internet web site shall be entirely at your own risk. In no event shall the owner or operator be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential or exemplary damages arising from the use or the performance of this Internet web site, even if the owner or operator has been advised of the possibility of such damages. While every attempt has been made to verify the information on this website, neither the owners, distributors, agents, publishers or their affiliates assume any responsibility or liability for any error, inaccuracies, omissions in the same, or related to results from use of these materials. No party is liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive damages arising out of your access to, or use of this blogsite and the contents herein.

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