If you are contending with a neurological issue, or may be contending with one, and need proper testing, your choice of a neurologist is paramount. While choosing a doctor with care is always important, it is particularly so when faced with more serious health issues. Stakes are high, and you want the best in your court. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
When it comes to choosing a doctor who focuses on neurology and neurological surgery, you don’t want to just choose any neurologist. While any specialist has gone through specific training, a broad range of conditions fall under the scope of neurology. You want to consider their experience with your type of condition and/ or procedure. Ask about complication rates, and your personal risk of complications based on your age, health and other individual factors.
You might consider looking for doctors in larger, metropolitan areas. An area like Los Angeles, California or Tucson, Arizona will have much more on offer than a smaller area.
There is a lot of personal information you may need to share as a result of your condition, so it is important to consider the gender of your doctor. You don’t want to withhold any information that could be important because you are embarrassed to discuss certain things. Also, you want to consider your own gender as well—needs and optimal treatments may differ based on the specific condition and sex of the patient. Many doctors are beginning to see the need to approach treatment differently for men and women. When considering neurologists, it is important you get an idea of how much experience they have working with men or women with your same condition.
When choosing a neurologist or any specialist for that matter, it is also important to consider the hospital with which they are affiliated. This will impact your experience significantly as this is where you will be receiving your treatments. Top-rated hospitals have fewer complications and better survival rates. You also want to consider the location—is it convenient for you? You may need to make multiple visits, and you will be under enough stress without adding in a timely commute to your treatment center. You don’t want long distances discouraging timely care.
You are looking for a doctor who can treat you properly, not a new friend. But, with that being said, you must choose a doctor with whom you feel comfortable, and can see yourself dealing with over the long-term if that is what will be required. You want someone who is happy to answer your questions, and is able to explain complicated neurological issues with you in a way that allows you to understand. Pay attention to whether a doctor seems to welcome your questions or act ‘put out’ by them. You should look for a doctor who expresses an interest in getting to know you, is willing to consider your treatment preferences and respects how you go about making decisions.