EXPLAINING ENDOMETRIOSIS: STEPS TO CHOOSE A DOCTOR

Choosing a doctor

Starting from scratch to find a specialist that will suit both your needs and expectations is not easy. Where do you start?

It is best to shop around by talking to friends and relatives – in particular those who have either been diagnosed as having endometriosis or those who suffer from menstrual problems. These women are more likely to have had previous contact with a specialist and can perhaps make recommendations for you. Think about whether you are likely to feel more comfortable with a female or a male specialist.

Once you have decided on a doctor you would like to consult, you need to visit your GP to obtain a referral. It is helpful if your GP is familiar with the specialist you plan to visit as the pair should be in constant communication about your treatment and progress over the coming months.

There are several points to consider when choosing the doctor who will manage your illness and its treatment and help you plan for the future. However, there is no such thing as the perfect doctor – or the perfect patient – so the material in this chapter is merely a guide.

What to look for

You and the specialist you select will be working together to improve your health and well-being, so it is important you feel comfortable and can talk openly. At your first visit, ask yourself the following questions:

•    Does the doctor appear interested in me as an individual and show concern with my general well-being?

•    Does she or he communicate and explain in a way I can understand?

•    Are all my problems taken seriously or do I feel patronized?

•    Has the doctor explained all the options of diagnosis, treatment, etc. thoroughly so that I understand?

•     Does the doctor encourage questions and then answer them completely and in easily understood language?

•     Has further reading been suggested, along with the names of self-help groups for further education and support?

•     Does the doctor show sympathy and understanding and provide some genuine comfort.

It is important to remember that your doctor should let you talk freely and should listen closely to your concerns. It is not unreasonable to expect your doctor to spend some time explaining and talking over concerns and problems with you. After all, you need to develop a relationship where you can feel confident in the doctor’s skills and where mutual respect exists.

There should be enough time during the appointment for you to ask questions. Do not feel intimidated. You may feel the doctor is rushing you and that your time is up but if you have questions you want answered and concerns that need to be cleared up, and then you have every right to continue the consultation.

*90/41/5*

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