How to find a good doctor? Here’s what I’ve found to be the ideal way to approach the matter:
A. Print out these three articles from my website:
- AARP cover story on drug-free remedies for chronic pain - to lay out the orientation I have toward chronic pain management and relief.
- Massage article on practitioner guidance working with chronic pain patients – to establish how practitioners can best work with me.
- Blog post on pain and suffering - to establish that when I tell my story about what happened to me and what residual effects I’m still dealing with (which inevitably I will be asked to do), I will have put the doctor on notice not to judge, ridicule, or project his spiritual evaluations onto me.
B. Research primary care physician candidates in my area – through referrals from acquaintances and reputable medical centers in the area.
C. Send the articles to potential candidates, along with a cover letter that includes the following:
- the basics of my condition – chronic pain throughout my body and hypersensitivity to touch, as the result of a series of physical injuries
- my orientation to healing – integrated East/West medicine approach, heavy on energy healing, dance, and visualization
- statement that while I have worked with excellent health care practitioners, much of my pain is the result of having been injured by doctors and body workers – making it essential to slowly build up trust with a doctor and be sure I find someone who is sensitive and listens carefully to patients
- query whether the doctor thinks we may be a good match and whether s/he is open to having a preliminary conversation by phone or in person. The response to this query often reveals, in and of itself, whether the doctor is a good match for me. Those who think it’s a no-brainer for patients to preliminarily interview their doctors are usually those who are most sensitive to patient needs.
D. Meet with the doctor for a preliminary conversation about her/his background, specialties, and approach to working with patients; my condition, needs, and expectations; and what the next steps might be in working together. Make it clear ahead of time that I do not want an exam during this meeting.
E. Evaluate the meetings with the various doctors – paying special attention to body language, energy, and verbal cues — and decide with whom to work.