Finding Reputable Doctors

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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 808
   Posted 1/17/2007 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Is it difficult to find a reputable rheumatologist? I know it can be hard to find good doctors in general, but I just wondered. I am genuinely curious as to whether you guys have horror stories...or what. I was just diagnosed with reactive arthritis about nine months ago after several years of terrible pain. I have mostly posted on the lyme board because having lyme seemed more horrible in the months after the diagnosis. However, you really can't compare the two diseases. It is really a life and mind altering experience to have severe refractory arthritis with onset at the age of 49. Man, I just woke up stiff all over one day and it was like Alice in Wonderland falling down into the rabbit hole. I've been running a business from my bed since 2004. I am in treatment but like all of you want to know that I am getting the best help possible. I can't find any information on standards of care for spondyloarthropathies. Do they just throw drugs at you and then expect you to figure out the rest? Would any of you guys accept a rheumatolgist that had lost his hospital privileges? I just don't know how to make a good judgement about the quality of care.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 1/18/2007 8:35 AM (GMT -6)   


JMO--I wouldn't go to a doctor if I knew they had suspended hospital privileges.  How do you actually find out about that, though?  As far as I know, the rheumy I see has not had his hospital privileges revoked or suspended, but it's not like something he would advertise?  You can check the board of rheumatology and see his credentials.  I know he graduated from Harvard medical school, so he's no dummy.  One other thing I learned about him is that he is 100% devoted to clinical practice.  Many specialists with his credentials get involved with academia, become affiliated with big teaching hospitals in the area (e.g., Georgetown, George Washington, Johns Hopkins, etc...) and split their clinical practice with lecturing and researchy activities.  He does not do that.  Plus, he said something the other day that I've never heard from a doctor, much less a specialist.  "I believe what I see, not what theoretically should be."  In other words, just because someone doesn't match a textbook dx, which is rather rare in this whole AI thing, doesn't mean they should be dismissed.  Many specialists don't support this notion, and I think it may very well be the eventual downfall of western medicine as we know it.  He also mentioned that medicine is in a "bit of trouble" these days, and doctors today will not take time with their patients.  I think we've all been on the short end of this stick before.  In my attempts to find a new primary, I called a practice in my area yesterday.  I was told that all of the doctors were accepting new patients, but they will only take new patients in a month.  Why?  Because they have to double and triple book their schedules, and a new patient takes 30 whole minutes of their precious time.  The routine patient only takes 15 minutes.  I swear I'm getting very cynical about medicine in general, but my high opinion of my rheumy has never wavered.  See what you think of him.  You  made an appointment, right?

You can always check the board of rheumatology website to find out whether he's affiliated.  They may have more info. on that website as well?

Please let me know how it goes--it is very hard to find new doctors that are both qualified and conscientous.


Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 808
   Posted 1/18/2007 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
El, your rheumatologist has an impeccable record with hospital privileges. You can check by going to the Web site of the state medical board. I would imagine that the information is available in all 50 states. Thanks for the interesting insights. I am grateful for those doctors that are willing to probe beyond the textbook. Some of these diseases are difficult to diagnose and treat. For instance, I have evidence of mycoplasma exposure along with lyme. I complained ad infinitim about bladder discomfort but no one sent me for a mycoplasma test until I saw a rheumatologist. It still hasn't been treated, but at least I now know why I have had problems.

Have a nice weekend.
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