Tuesday, December 30, 2003

How does one find a fibroid specialist?

I agree, it is a difficult process. Most of the hospitals and clinics around here in the Seattle don't include very substantial information on their doctor profile pages about their expertise. Since OB/Gyn training and practice revolves around surgeries for multiple conditions I think they don't differentiate between procudures. But we as patients desiring uterus saving procedures know that there is a complexity here with the issues of blood loss, adhesions, retaining fertility, etc. that make us want someone who is passionate and fully vested in the outcome of our procedures.

I recently reread Sex, Lies and the Truth About Uterine Fibroids
and in it Carla mentions that some states have databases tracking medical procedures. Here is one of the examples mentioned in the book:

Center for Medical Consumers (NY)

Not all states track this information that it could even be published, that's another place where we need to weigh in and try to get our state legislators to help get us better information.

That said, it still seems like it is hard to find a doctor. There used to be a site that would allow patients to rate their doctors on a variety of criteria but I believe that was bought out by WebMD and it doesn't include that information anymore. Here are links to some directories that might be useful:

uterinefibroids Board Physician Database
Contains names of doctors that have been mentioned in the messages posted to this list with the number of the message to refer to -- inclusion in the database does not qualify as an endorsements of any of the practitioners however.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists Physician Directory

WebMD Physician Directory

AMA Physician Select

You can also find out about licensed doctors in your state by visiting the state medical board web site; do a search to find the link.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine has a page with links to a few other directories on it....

AMSR: Find a Doctor

Oh, and while we are on the subject, make sure that you request and keep copies of all of your records from the various doctors you see. You can then make copies to take with you if you confer with multiple care providers and it is helpful to be able to refer to them as well. Each State determines how much the clinic is allowed to charge for copies of the records but it seems to average around 75 cent to a dollar per page in my experience. To keep costs down just request the most relevant test results but you may want to have copies of all the chart notes as well. Each clinic will have a slightly different process for requesting records, sometimes a form or sometimes just a letter will do, and most of the ones I've been in contact with accept faxes.

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