As recently noted by Healthgrades, choosing a pain management doctor is one of the most important and personal decisions a person can make, given the profound effect intense discomfort can have on quality of life. But how do you know you’re making the right choice?
To help guide you, following are a few tips designed to get you to the right healthcare provider and initiate an effective pain management plan.
As you go through the process, however, keep in mind that your ultimate goal is a clinic or practice that uses a multi-disciplinary approach, that is, where a team of clinicians and other health professionals will work together to address all aspects of your pain according to your individualized needs.
- Ask Around. Some 50 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so it’s fairly likely you know one or two of them. See what they have to say and factor it into your final decision.
- Ask Your Primary Care Doctor or Other Trusted Physician. As they know you as a patient, as well as a person, they may have insight into the best pain management specialist for you on both levels.
- Make a List and Get Busy Researching. Start with the practice or clinic’s website to determine their areas of concentration and get a feel for how they communicate with patients. Then read patient reviews to see how the two match up. There are several online sites you can utilize, including Healthgrades, Google Reviews or RateMDs.com.
- Know What to Look For. Board certifications are critical, indicating the doctor has gone through all the necessary steps to achieve the necessary training, skills and experience in addressing pain management and – this is important – your specific type of pain.
- Know What Your Insurance Covers. Stress is an outcome of pain, and you don’t need to add unexpected economic pressure to it.
Once you’ve made your choice, and the appointment, make a list of what’s most important to you to effectively manage your and the clinician’s time and underscore your decision.
When a patient seeks pain management, they often have exhausted other options, are looking for therapies other than opioids or risky surgery or desire a more holistic approach. Whatever the reason, however, the time taken upfront to find that perfect fit between patient needs and professional services will be well worth it.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or make an appointment to see how we can help.