Finding the right doctor is a tough choice and not one to be taken lightly. Below are five things I look for in choosing a doctor.
- Does the doctor accept my insurance?
While I try to avoid basing my health decisions on money, it’s certainly helpful if my doctor is within my insurance network. My OnePath® Case Manager has worked with me to help me understand my insurance coverage.
- Does the doctor understand HAE?
Doctors who have met a patient with HAE are rare. The HAEA can provide guidance on finding doctors who are knowledgeable about HAE.
- Will the doctor be available when I need him/her?
HAE is unpredictable and inconvenient. I always ask my doctor, “If I have a severe HAE attack and the emergency room staff has never seen this before, can they reach your office for help?” I know my doctor has a 24-hour help line that I can call in case of emergency.
- Can we have a comfortable conversation about my HAE?
While my doctor is also a professor and tends to get carried away with medical language at times, he is also able to explain things in terms I can understand. I am comfortable telling him when I don’t understand something, and I keep him up-to-date on my condition through a journal that I keep and email to his office each month.
- Does the doctor understand HAE from my point of view?
I feel it’s important to find a doctor who can understand how my condition affects me physically, mentally, and emotionally. At every appointment, my doctor not only asks about my HAE overall, but also about my family’s well-being. While this may seem off-topic, it can help him understand how well I am dealing with my condition, the stability of my support system, and what is going on in my life, which can potentially lead to triggers.
What do you look for in your HAE doctor? Please leave a comment and let me know!
The journey to an HAE diagnosis differs for everyone. Hear from Shire’s Patient Ambassadors at an event near you. Click here for more information.