Patient/doctor relationship

Just wondering if anyone wants to share their stories about how you found a good doctor and why finding a good doctor matters! Mine is about to retire after a looooong career in endocrinology and I’m panicking about finding a new doctor that I like as much!

I hope this doesn’t make anybody mad…
My father and brother are both doctors. I find good ones based on word-of-mouth referrals, and then I pick my insurance so that these doctors are in my plan. My last internist was so very cool. I had his home phone number. When he left his practice to do research he referred me to a young doctor that he trained - but was at least 50% as cool as he was.

I think it matters, a lot. Go and see your endo before he retires and find out who HE would go to. Make him use his contacts and trusted peer network - they all have them.

For me I just kept changing doctors until I found one I was comfortable with. For me, if his office staff upsets me then I will also quit seeing him no matter what kind of doctor he is because if they nurses are horrible then they won’t pass on the proper messages etc if you call in. My current doctor is only a GP but he has done a great job managing my diabetes.

great advice, thank you!

I interview my doctors…I take a set of questions.When I make my first appt I let them know I am “shopping” and have questions forthe doctor about all facets of his/her practice. My GP is so good that when my insurance changed and he is not on it,I pay more to see him…it really hurts soemtimes. I fired one endo who appartently told me everything I wanted to hear the first time…whe I fired her, she told me I couldn’tdo that, she had a really good relationshipwith my isurance and they wouldn’t let me…wonder how many peoplewho haven’tread and understood their insurance coverage fell for that one…

And I loce my current endo—he is type 1 also, has a pump mand CGMS–and really understands and helps work through the problems…And he and my GP, dentist, CDE, and eye doctor all in different practices, work together to my benefit–but it definately took “shopping”

A good doctor really does matter! When I was first diagnosed I had a decent doctor that helped me learn the basics of controlling my blood sugar. However, it was not until probably 3 months later when I went to see an endocrinologist that I really began to really learn. My local doctor didn’t know anything about counting carbs!!! It was great to see somebody who really knew about the disease and was continuing education. I would recommend that if possible everyone should see an endocrinologist. Its weird that sometimes doctors know less than we do. But my endocrinologist did tell me that I should be the expert (I’m the one who has to live with it). She is great though. The nutritionist at that office is great also (this is a + when looking for a doctor I think).

I’m still looking for a good endocrinologist and it is incredibly frustrating! I’ve found one that basically gives me my perscriptions for insulin and pump supplies and who isn’t too much of a pusher and I’m thrilled with that. I’ve given up on finding an endo who actually thinks outside the box and treats me as an individual instead of trying to squeeze me into the average box (I’m an insulin resistant, brittle, Type 1 so I don’t really fit into the standard demographic). The other thing that you need to avoid at all costs is a doctor who assumes that they know more about how your body responds to things than you do! Every endo I have ever gone to lecutures me to no end and scolds me for not counting carbs (I could never get into that system) and not being able to explain with a ratio or formula exactly how I come up with my basal rates or bolus amounts, but in the end they can’t close their arguments because my blood test results are good - so they say “well, you must be doing something right”. I think the most important thing in finding a good doctor is mindset - yours and theirs. Just remember you are the customer and you should be getting good service for your money - don’t let yourself be bullied into doing something you know won’t work for your body! Good doctors are super hard to find - it’s always sad when a good one retires - good luck and let us know how the search goes!!!

Well said Katrina. I remember when I was first diagnosed and still in the hospital a nutritionist came to talk to me. To me it seemed like she thought she knew everything I did and tried to blame my diabetes on what I ate and my lifestyle. The truth is diabetes is nobody’s fault not to mention as a type 1 diabetic it imposible to control diabetes by diet and exercise alone (we have to have insulin to survive). The last time I saw my endocrinologists I appologized up front that I had not tested as often as I should. I admit sometimes I neglect testing before meals and I sometimes forget afterwards. But I never go a full day without testing, and I definitely test when I feel hypo. She really didn’t mind and a good doctor will not if you’re A1C is acceptable. I count carbs but it doesn’t matter what your system is as long as it works for you and your BG levels are in control.

That’s what I was going to say. Ask your current endo. Who would know better?

I found my endocrinologist through word of mouth and through doctor referrals. My close friend and fellow diabetic told me about my current endocrinologist, and when my uncle who works in a different state gave me his name as a consultant to the endocrinologist there, I knew he must be good. It’s sort of a love/hate thing, but I always am glad in the end. For example, I was really frustrated with not being recommended to the pump for a while, but I understand now when he told me that he needed to see if I was going to follow-up and work to follow his orders. Also, excuse the crudeness of this, but at my last appointment he referred to my menstrual cycle as plowing the field to plant a crop- I could not stop laughing after I went. Hopefully he’ll be around for a long time.

My first doctor I found through a referral from my GP (general practitioner - I think the American equivalent is PCP?). I wasn’t happy with him, so I asked the people at the support group for recommendations. Someone told me about this new young endo, who was apparently a great listener. I saw him yesterday, and am very happy with him.