Who is the Best Doctor to Treat you?
On being informed that you need to have a referral to a medical specialist, or on receiving a diagnosis or the need to have a diagnosis confirmed, Google is often the first port of call for finding authoritative sources of information. Patients want to know more about the condition, how it is diagnosed and what the options are for treatment. Patients also want to know more about their choices of doctor and the type and level of care they might expect from them and their teams.
Commenting on the need for high quality health information, the Patient Research Exchange says; "Medical and healthcare information can be complex, and may take a while to understand fully, even for people with good health literacy. You should never be embarrassed about asking as many questions as you need .."
What are My Treatment Options?
The point is that for any diagnosis there are always treatment options. For example, lower back pain associated with herniated discs could be treated by an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in spine, a neurosurgeon, a pain specialist, a chiropractor, an interventional radiologist or simply by lifestyle change? If you ask each specialist, they will have their own opinion. Even within a medical speciality such as orthopaedic surgeons specialising in hip surgery, opinions on the right approach vary widely - and so if you want informed choice, it is important to see what a selection of different surgical specialists recommend.
What is My Choice of Hip Replacement?
Total Health approached ten orthopaedic surgeons specialising in hip surgery and asked them all the same seven questions, such as, Which type of hip prosthesis do you routinely use and why? The results with all the questions varied widely and can be seen here.
In Preparation for Specialist Heart Care
More help for Patients.
Heart surgery is no exception to this fact and so Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Oliver Segal has prepared an excellent check list for any patient who is unfortunate to be diagnosed with a heart problem. Patients are advised to prepare in advance of their consultation with this Cardiologist Consultation Checklist.
Finally, from a more general perspective, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Mr Daryll Baker has prepared this useful Medical Consultation Checklist . Whatever the problem, patients are encouraged and should never feel embarrassed about asking as many questions as they want, and planning for the consultation is the best starting point.
The most authoritative medical information is that presented by senior teaching hospital consultants themselves, but never be worried about seeking a second opinion.