Translate This Page
I'd LOVE to be able to write that ALL gynecologists are supportive, caring individuals who only have your best interest in mind when they take the necessary time to review with you all of the medical options available to treat your uterine fibroids. . .but then you would probably mumble something like:
"yeah...right...and pigs fly"
under your breath while taking a nosedive straight away from this website. . . the truth is not kind to either doctors or patients. Some doctors are simply not nice at all. Many have their own personal agendas. Some just don't seem to have enough time for you. And then again, maybe the problem is simply that it takes 2 people to really communicate and, for whatever reason, you and your doctor just can't find a way to have a meaningful and useful conversation.
If you can't communicate with your current doctor, find a new one. Pure. Simple. Keep looking until you find one that you can communicate with. End of story. Okay, okay. I know it's not that easy when you belong to an HMO, live in a rural community, or rely on others to assist you in getting to a physician. But, it's important. Listen to your intuition and search until you find a doctor you can truly communicate with and whom you trust to provide you with all of the medical options that are potential treatment choices for you to consider (dependent upon your medical circumstances, of course).
I know. Easier said than done. But, at least try. I did and I didn't. I regret that, in my case, I didn't try harder; but I simply got tired of hearing the word hysterectomy. Don't make my mistake and wait until your fibroids are basketball in size and/or wreaking complete havoc with your life before you make the effort to find a doctor that meets your needs.
For more information on how to locate a doctor that's right for you, read the following articles. I found these stories right on target and extremely valuable in validating my thoughts and concerns regarding physician selection.
A Guide for People with Medicare: Choosing a Doctor: Simply written yet effective in outlining how to locate a physician that may fit your needs.
Choosing a Doctor. Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care AHCPR Publication No. 99-0012, July 2001. Print this one out -- as it can be used as a workbook in filling in answers to your questions about any given physicians you may be considering. Also available as a colorfully formatted and easy to read Adobe Acrobat file/booklet: Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care
Choosing a Doctor and Hospital How Do You Judge Quality? From The Cleveland Clinic: Most of us seem to do more research when we buy a car than when we are about to entrust our lives to a doctor and a hospital. That may be because we don't know what questions to ask or where to turn for information. Few resources exist to help consumers rate doctors and hospitals the way Consumer Reports rates air conditioners.
The Art and Science of Picking a Doctor: (9/28/98) To decide on a physician who's right for you, rely on homework, common sense, intuition and a few pointers. By JULIE MARQUIS, LA Times Staff Writer (1121 words, currently archived, this article can still be purchased from the LATimes on their website for $2.50)
Do Your Homework When Choosing a Doctor: (3/27/99) Choosing a doctor can be a daunting task. There's no foolproof method. A doctor who wins raves from one patient may be hated by another. But the more you know about the doctor beforehand, the better your chance of finding a satisfactory physician the first time. By BOB LaMENDOLA, Florida Sun-Sentinel Health Writer (632 words, currently archived, this article can still be purchased from the Sun-Sentinel on their website for $2.00)
In addition, the following website provides a discussion of the 7 "Cs" of finding a physician (Credentials, Choice, No Conflict of Interest, Competence, Communication, Compassion, Continuity of Care):
Mastering the Maze: Taking Control of Your Health Care Information provided by the College of American Pathologists.
To find a doctor in your state, your search might also begin with American Medical Association (AMA). Their online physician finder allows you to search for doctors by specialty and by state.
Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are two procedures that fall under the specialty category of endoscopy. With endoscopy, special equipment is used to go inside the uterus or abdomen to visualize the interior of a woman's body and to perform procedures such as laparoscopic myomectomy, hysteroscopic myomectomy, or laparoscopically assisted hysterectomy. All doctors certified in obstetrics and gynecology are trained to use this equipment. That does not mean, however, that they are all equally skilled at using this equipment. Physicians with a special interest in continuing their education and skills training in endoscopic technique and patient outcome may be found using the Physician Finder located on the Patient section of the website for the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.
Surgery to remove uterine fibroids may require surgery to repair varying degrees of prolapse as well. Under those circumstances, a urogynecologist (gynecologist with advanced training in urology, specifically treatment of incontinence and prolapse) may be the best type of physician to consult. The following organization is available as a resource to help you locate a urogynecologist:
American Urogynecologic Society
Women desiring pregnancy who have uterine fibroids may have hormonal considerations requiring the review and oversight of a reproductive endocrinologist. More information on fertility, fibroids, reproductive endocrinology, and how to locate a board certified reproductive endocrinologist, may be found on this website:
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
Once you've located a doctor, the next step is to verify their licensure within the state they are practicing medicine. To do this, check with your State Medical Board.
To determine whether or not your selected physician has any board certifications (indicating a much more rigorous specialty or sub-specialty training background and a thorough evaluation of their skills), check with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
Finally, for a thorough background check on your selected physician, you may want to contact Consumer Info Central and order a detailed report. For $9.95, Consumer Info Central can provide you with a printout of the following information:
- Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) list of sanctioned physicians.
- Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) list of sanctioned physicians.
- Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) database of physicians who have been convicted of violations such as Medicare or Medicaid fraud.
- Records from state Medical Disciplinary Boards of disciplinary actions taken by them against physicians. This information is gathered from every state Medical Board in the United States and Puerto Rico. In most cases, these board records of disciplinary actions include details of the nature of the charges brought against a specific physician, the time period in question, and the action or actions recommended or taken by the board.
Before paying for this information, however, I highly recommend you check with your own state medical board as much of it may well be available through them for free. Not all state medical boards offer this level of detailed information though and, when in doubt, this service will provide information about a physician's medical practice background from every state.
Because Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a relatively new treatment option for uterine fibroids, it can be difficult to find gynecologists referring to interventional radiologists for this procedure. Follow the links below to find maps of the United States (and tables for other countries) that contain names, URLs, email addresses, and phone numbers of physicians who have referred patients for UFE or performed at least 50 UFEs. This information is provided on this website as an informational service only and does not, necessarily, reflect a personal endorsement of any physician identified. Please read the medical disclaimer provided on this site as a reminder of your own personal responsibility in choosing a physician.
| Choices | Diagnostics
| The Decision | Related
Health Issues | My Journal | Subscribe
Medical Disclaimer | copyright information ©1999-02 | send Email
This page last updated Friday, February 22, 2002