M.D. vs. D.O. What do you think?

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AlwaysRosie
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   Posted 8/23/2007 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I am on the lookout for a new PCP. I was checking out reviews on a website and I am seeing more positive comments for D.O.'s than M.D.'s.

If you wouldn't mind sharing. Do you use an M.D. or a D.O.? How do you like your PCP? what is the difference between the M.D. and the D.O.?

Thanks for your help.
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
 
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Lynnwood
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   Posted 8/23/2007 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
My first thought was: What is a D.O.? (So obviously I don't use one! :-)) Sometimes I use Wikipedia to help clarify these things for me. Here is what I found.

Wikipedia under D.O. said...
1) Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, the less common of the two degrees (MD & DO) held by licensed physicians in the United States.
2) Diploma of Osteopathy (a type of manual therapy) the degree held by osteopaths outside the United States.

Which didn't help me a whole lot, so I looked up MD --
Wikipedia under M.D. said...
In the United States, the M.D. degree is the most common degree held by physicians and surgeons, the other being the D.O. Sometimes, holders of the M.D. are referred to as "allopathic physicians" or graduates of allopathic schools of medicine. Students earning an M.D. degree are trained in accredited allopathic schools of medicine which are overseen by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, both independent boards of the American Medical Association, the AMA.
Equivalent Degrees
According to the American Medical Association and the American Medical Student Association, the M.D. degree is equivalent to the other medical degree held by licensed U. S. physicians, the D.O. degree. Between 1901 and 1973, the 50 States enacted laws granting recipients of the D.O. degree the same medical practice rights as granted to recipients of the M.D. degree.

Again, that didn't really clarify much, but the MD definition lead to me to an article
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_M.D._and_D.O. which makes much more sense of the entire matter by comparing the two on several different key points.

After learning what the differences are academically, I would still tend to look at DO as practicing from a bone-oriented point of view before looking at other issues. So I think I'll stick with the MD's for now.

I am interested in reading about the comments you found about OD's, and in hearing from people who use OD's.

Cheers,

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
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AlwaysRosie
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   Posted 8/23/2007 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lynwood, I'm hoping that anyone who is actually using a D.O. will also comment. I've done some more research and I think my insurance is going to be an issue. But, I'm going to keep poking around for more info.

I also found some interesting info at http://www.stronghealth.com/services/primarycare/domd.cfm . . . the following is a quote from that site and I see that this "could" be a real advantage for those of us with muscular/joint issues. The following is a quote from that site.

What Makes DOs Different?

* DOs can perform surgery, child delivery, treat patients, and prescribe medications in hospitals and clinic settings.

* DOs look at the "total person." Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive care. Instead of just treating specific symptoms or illnesses, they look at the whole body.

* DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of the nerves, muscles, and bones. This training gives DOs a better understanding of how an injury or illness in one part of the body can affect another part of the body; therefore, DOs have a therapeutic and diagnostic advantage.

* DOs use what is called osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). OMT is a technique in which the DOs use their hands to diagnose injury and illness, giving special attention to the joints, bones, muscles, and nerves. Manipulations improve circulation, which in turn, creates a normal nerve and blood supply, enabling the body to heal itself.
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
 
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Barbara Lee
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   Posted 8/23/2007 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosie:

It's always nice to see you here. I wanted to comment on the DO's vs MD's. I have a MD pcp and she's the best. She recommend though that I see the DO that was related to our clinic. She seems nice enough and she does manipulations on me to help my muscle pain and such.

She's very good, but she's working in conjunction with my MD. They discuss my case weekly and they decide what's best for me. If I had to choose her as my only doctor, I'd have to agree with Lynnwood, I'd stick to my MD. Hope this helps. If you've got anymore questions of me, just ask away.

Hugs,
Barbara
dx fibro, SLE, glaucoma, cateracts, bells palsy, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, MDS (Blood Cancer). Mediport and tons of meds.


monkeyme
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 8/23/2007 6:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I wanted to comment on the D.O. issue.

D.O.'s in my experience (I have had a general practitioner D.O. and a rheumy D.O) look at the whole body and whole person far more than an MD does.

Does that mean that DO's will always be better than an MD....no, because I went to one who was a real jerk.

For the most part though, if I can, I will seek out a D.O. because in my experience a D.O. is less likely to rush you through, more apt to listen, and more willing to look at you as a whole person, not a body part or system that is broken.

Like i said though, there are exceptions to the rule....but in my experience I have had much better relationships with Doctors of Osteopathy. Both MD's and DO's have the same licensing requirements, and are able to perform the same things (surgery etc.)

If you google doctor of osteopathy there are some great links. I thought this one explained it very well.

http://ncchem.com/DO.html

Hope that helped.

The first physician to finally diagnose me with fibromyalgia was a D.O. I will ever be greatful to that Rheumy for giving me a name for my pain and not naming it anxiety.

Darlene
Chronic Fatigue 1990 * Migraines 1990 * Restless Legs 1995 * Fibromyalgia 2001 * UCTD/probable Lupus 2007* Clostridium Difficile 3/07


Audrey Ann
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   Posted 8/23/2007 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Greetings! I am reading all this with great interest. My PCP is a DO and I have seen him for over 23 years now. He is excellent at diagnosis and also does manipulations which have been great for my joint pain and, actually, my sinus issues. In addition, I have always been impressed with his focus on preventative medicine. I think that a DO or an MD is only as good as he/she is based on the dedication factor and the work ethic factor. Just like in any field, there are always going to be some that are better than others.

My DO was instrumental in pushing my lupus/RA diagnosis and, when things were stalling, he consulted with Michigan State School of Medicine for how to help me "mid-diagnosis". He was also instrumental in helping me with bio-identical hormones, my endometriosis/adenomyosis issues before my hysterectomy, and, now, with working closely with my rhuemy for my current issues. My DO has also turned out to be integral in helping me with my pain issues due to the lupus/RA/kidney stone problems that I experience.

So, my advice is to "interview" prospective physicians and make your decisions based on the practitioner rather than the DO or MD after the name. I would be more likely to go with a PCP who values keeping updated professionally and one who keeps up with the ever-changing medical field with a focus on the 21st century.

Just my two cents, anyway,...
Audrey Ann
Diagnosis: Lupus and RA
Medications: Plaquenil (400 mg), RelafenMethotrexate Injections, Folic Acid, Aldactizide for High Blood Pressure, Lipitor for High Cholesterol, Actonel for Osteopenia, and Allegra & Patonel Eye Drops for Allergies.


 


sharentrials
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 8/23/2007 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, AlwaysRosie. I never knew the difference between the DO and the MD, so this post has been very educational. I do have to say that I fully agree with Audrey Ann on this one, now that I do know though. If everyone remembers my previous frustration post in regard to my most recent appt. with my PCP and his reaction to my findings with my blood sugar...well he is a DO. I had never had a problem with him previously, but I guess we are all human. I just did not like the way that appt. was handled. Whichever you choose though, you want someone not only knowledgeable and professional, but also caring, compassionate, and willing to listen. Best of luck. It can be a tough job!
Always looking for the silver lining, Sharen

SLE '06, Sjogren's '06, Traumatic Head Injury '94
Prednisone 10mg and tapering, Caltrate 1200mg, Multi-vitamin, Prevacid 30 mg, Actonel 35mg


AlwaysRosie
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   Posted 8/23/2007 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
You all have been SO helpful. Thanks to each of you.

I would LOVE to find such a doctor. I'm on the hunt and I'll keep you posted. I really like the info I read about the DO treating the whole body and working closely with the muscles, joints and bones and the manipulations/adjustments. I think that would be beneficial for my issues which are mainly connective tissue related so far.

I'll keep you posted.

Blessings!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
 
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curlyhair
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   Posted 8/23/2007 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Rosie,

My nephrologist is a DO and I absolutely love him! He could tell I was tense one day so he spontaneously gave me a neck rub. It was heaven and definitely relaxed me. He does believe in the whole body approach and has acted as my PCP on many occasions. He is a brilliant man who also happens to be kind, compassionate, caring, funny, and one of the friendliest people I have ever met. Too bad they all can't be that way.

Sandy


DX: Kidney Disease, (? Lupus Nephritis) 2002
DX: Raynaud's Phenomenon and Lupus 2005
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okie
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   Posted 8/24/2007 1:16 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Rosie, the last 2 pcp's I've had just happened to be D.O.. I didn't pick them that way on purpose it just turned out their specialty for bones. I really like both of them .I had to change because I moved to oklahoma but I was lucky and got another good one. It actually is good for me with my osteo but they both were very on top of regular MD stuff. In my case if I didn't know they had the DO in the name I would have never known the difference.

Good luck finding a good doctor

hugs

carol



God Bless
Carol
Lupus, possible Crest, COPD, Cervical Cancer survivor. Osteoporosis
Prednisone 5mg, Plaquanil 800mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg, HCTZ25/Triamterene37.5mg,Xanax x3
 
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Post Edited (okie) : 8/24/2007 2:15:45 AM (GMT-6)


AlwaysRosie
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   Posted 8/24/2007 4:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Sandy and Carol . . . it does sound like there are some good ones out there. *phewww!!* there IS hope. I'm finding it interesting talking to people who actually use the D.O.'s because there seems to be way more positive feedback from that direction.

I'm on a mission! I have an appointment with my current doc in less than two weeks and he's got one foot on a banana peel. I just really feel too awkward with him to keep going there. . . AND he's a 25 minute drive from my house.

Thanks again everyone for your input on this.

Blessings!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
 
Co-Moderator Lupus Forum
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Trying2BFree
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   Posted 8/24/2007 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
My PCP is a DO in a Family Practice. He jumped right on the RA/Lupus thing and quickly got me in to see a Rheumy. He doesn't do manipulations, but does focus on the whole person, doesn't rush and will offer advice on alternative therapies. As far as I know they are just like MDs but took a different path or focus with their education. I'm sure you can get horrible MDs and DOs, but I'm inclined to seek out a DO first. Thankfully I found a great one right off the bat. He has kept me sane throughout the last two years.

Good luck Rosie!
Jeannie ~
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AlwaysRosie
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   Posted 8/24/2007 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Jeannie!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
 
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cured4real?
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   Posted 8/24/2007 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosie--
I think M.D.s are by far better, if you can find a good one. That's not to say there aren't good D.O.s out there. I have found that D.O.s are more reluctant to prescribe pain medications when needed, tend to do less testing, tend to focus more on diet, exercise and stress reduction. I've had more problems with D.O.s telling me everything is in my head, vs M.D.s. But ultimately, the choice is yours. I know that my grandmother died of severe liver disease under the care of a D.O. who did nothing to diagnose or treat her problems, aside from telling her to bath in bleach to heal her stubborn diabetic sores. The bleach fumes irritated her throat, she always had gastric reflux due to the liver, and the blood vessels in her throat burst and she drown in her own blood before an ambulance could arrive. You can understand my bias. Also, my stepmother, who has multiple myeloma, only sees M.D.s. My mother has had similar experiences to mine with D.O.s saying everything is in your head, that mind over matter is the only method of healing--somehow the total body approach gets boiled down to this with some D.O.s.

I've been told that if you are really sick, you should seek out M.D.s, but if you are relatively healthy, D.O.s might be an excellent choice. My primary care doc is an internal medicine specialist and she does a lot of testing there in her office. I think this is a good choice, whether you go D.O. or M.D. to get an internist for your primary care doc, or a rheumy, even better, if you can manage it.

Good luck with your search.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
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AlwaysRosie
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   Posted 8/24/2007 10:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Marji . . . wow . . . I really appreciate your input. It is nice to be able to see this from all sides before making a decision. My current pcp is an interist . . . I am only 80% sure I want to switch, but we'll see. I really need to do a better job of speakig up. I usually depend on typed notes and he is somehow offended by that, like I wrote down a story that I'm making up. I really need to be more proactive for myself.

Thanks again.
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
 
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cured4real?
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   Posted 8/25/2007 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosie--
I'm sorry I'm so biased on this. Just can't help it. But I remember what my psychiatrist told me when I was real sick with liver disease. She told me that the most famous docs are not always the best. The main thing is to find a doc that is the best for YOU, that listens to YOU, that cares for YOU, that would be upset if something happened to YOU. I had a family doc gp that was the best doc I ever had, he could diagnose me like no one else and was great and respectful and kind and just great. He worked in a small practice, not a big center, but he did rounds if you got sick and went to see you in the hospital and talked with your other doctors and really communicated. He came to see me when they though I was dying from pneumonia and it was such a comfort. He was not famous and some people didn't like him, but he was the best doc for me and I did well under his excellent care. He infact saved my life.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments


Butterflake
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   Posted 8/29/2007 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm obviously catching up on old threads.  I worked in an osteopathic hospital laboratory for 3 years so I worked with many DOs, including specialists.  In my opinion, DOs are just as capable as MDs.  I agree that DOs look more at treating the whole person and I see this as a positive thing.  There are great DOs and great MDs, just as there are bad ones.  I tend to think that students who couldn't get into medical school, then try osteopathic schools so those attending osteopathic tend to have a slightly lower GPA, but that sure doesn't make them less capable physicians.

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AlwaysRosie
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   Posted 8/29/2007 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Marji . . . how touching! I'm so glad you had a doc that you could trust and count on. Its nice to know that there are still good ones out there.

Donna . . . thanks . . . that info means a lot coming from someone who has worked in the field. I appreciate your input and will keep it in mind while I search.

Thanks!!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
 
Co-Moderator Lupus Forum
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Nurse4years
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   Posted 9/20/2009 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   
HOPE THIS HELPS CLARIFY HE DIFFERENCE OF MD VS DO FORM  about  SURGERY.COM WE HAVE BOTH DO'S AND MD AT OUR FACILITY AND HONESTLY SPEAKING THE DO TO ME IS BETTER EDUCATED. OR  SEEMS SO.
 

The differences between a DO and an MD stem from differences in teaching styles and focus during medical school. Osteopathic schools have long instructed medical students in looking at the whole patient, rather than the injured or diseased part. While this was a major difference in the past, MD programs are also embracing the “whole person” approach, so this difference is not as notable as it once was. Both schools are now educating future doctors to be aware of the patient as a whole person, not a set of symptoms.

DO students are also educated in Osteopathic Medical Treatment (OMT), which is body manipulation similar to that which is done by chiropractors. Not all DO physicians use OMT in their practice.

For example, imagine a patient who goes to his family physician because of chronic headaches. A patient who has a headache who goes to an MD will likely to be examined and tested thoroughly for medical reasons for a headache, while a DO may include manipulation of the neck in his evaluation.


lucysgd
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   Posted 9/20/2009 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   

I am entering into this discussion pretty late  - but I just saw it today.  The best doctor I ever had was a D.O. and not only did he look at the body as a whole, but he took into account what was currently going on in your life - i.e. he considered you as an individual.  I've had nothing but M.D.s since ( we moved out of state) and none of them can hold a candle to my old D.O.   I really think they were the original "integrative medicine" doctors.  As someone said, M.D.s are getting some different and more inclusive training these days, but if I were shopping for a new doc, I would certainly seek the option of a D.O.  Anyone can be a crummy doc, regardless of the letters after their name - but in my humble opinion - the probablitity of finding a doctor more intent on listening and less focused on his prescription pad is higher with a D.O. than M.D.   There are too many doctor's who practice "cookbook" medicine.  If you don't happen to fit the recipe - they don't know what to do with you.  I want someone who will  look beyond the obvious and absolutes - and consider the "lesser" connections. 

Ok - stepping off my soapbox now! blush    Good luck with your search, Rosie! 

Lucy


diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; UCTD & osteoporosis 2007; celiac 2009
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crazykitty
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   Posted 9/21/2009 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosie,

My PCP is a DO, she is a wonderful doctor who works closely with my rheumy in my treatment
of MCTD. She is very knowlegable and caring. My last appointment with her, she spent an
entire hour with me; going over recent bloodwork that I had done with the rheumy. She is a
great listener and advisor. She is the first DO I had, before her it was always a MD.

Good Luck Rosie, I hope you find a wonderful doctor too!

Robin
MCTD, Fibromyalgia, Raynauds, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Degenerative 
 Disc Disease, Hypertension, Migraines and Pseudothrombocytopenia MEDS: Methotrexate, Savella,Flexeril,Diltiazem, Boniva, Vitamins 


cured4real?
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   Posted 9/22/2009 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosie--
I steer clear of DOs because they often (in my experience) tend to attribute health problems to diet, exercise, and psychiatric issues and tend to feel medications are overprescribed. Getting pain treatment is near impossible, in my experience. Also, convincing a DO that you are really ill can be difficult. My grandmother died of advanced liver disease under tx by a DO who recommended that because of non-healing sores due to vascular issues, she bathe in bleach, which burned her esophagus, inflamed her liver and cause portal hypertension which ruptured esophageal varices in her throat and she drowned in her own blood. All of this was perfectly preventable, especially if her ailments were taken seriously and treated with typical medicines.

My MD says DOs dont get the same training, not as good, as MDs, which is why you find so many DOs in lower end jobs. If I were a healthy person, a DO might be a great doc for me, but being really sick, they have been nothing but people who take my money and provide no real solutions, testing, or treatment. Sometimes a whole body approach can just add more confusion, or make it difficult for the DO to actually deeply focus on a particular issue that needs focus.

For all the DOs I've been to, and I've seen alot in the free clinics and in higher end places, none have seen my extensive vitiligo and hyperpigmentation as anything more than a form of a birthmark, failing to be aware of research that indicates its an autoimmne condition that is oftenan indicator of serious autoimmune problems, not to mention me meeting the criteria for polyglandular dysfunction, which I clearly meet very visibly. Some have recommended milk thistle for my liver,which makes me ill, or other herbals.

Most annoying though and the main reason I don't go to them is that they almost always feel that health is a matter of mind over body and that most health problems are all really psychiatric in nature and not really health problems. And then they refer you out to DOs. If you see primarily MDs, they may appreciate you sticking with an MD. You can always ask, as I did.

Hope you are doing okay, Rosie.
Love, Marji
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus cond., AI polygland. dysfunction 2, hyper/hypopigment, scoliosis,kyphosis,stenosis, deg.,O.A.,spine surgeries, salivary/lymphectomies, NASH, COPD, RLS, UT/GI bleeds, hystero, brain/nerve damage,TB
Meds--INH,Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, HRT and Lidocaine patchs, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroids


Lynnwood
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   Posted 9/23/2009 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
This question was asked 2 years ago and I suspect Rosie has made her decision by now. :-)
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
Life is far too important to be taken seriously. - Oscar Wilde, 1882


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 9/23/2009 8:36 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL . . . Thanks Lynwood. I almost posted an answer when I saw this and thought it would just fall down to the bottom of the page. But I hope that some other readers were helped by seeing the experiences of others.

Hey Marji . . . I'm doing really well. Thanks for asking. I hope you've been well too.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


suetoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 9/26/2009 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi!
I am a nurse, and nurse practitioners would get my vote. My PCP is a 3 doc, 3 NP practice and I prefer the NPs hands down.
suetoo
God knows, even if I don't....
CNS Lupus 2005, APS, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Meds: Plaquenil, Neurontin, Thyroid, Piroxicam, Aspirin, Atenolol and Norvasc, Prednisone 5mg daily and Paxil, Ambien every night.

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