The things you find

You can find the most interesting things while surfing the net.  For instance, this advertisement (city-names edited out):

Independent practice in ABC suburbs seeking family medicine physician, OB optional.  Inpatient and outpatient required with a call schedule of 1 in 3 on weekdays and 1 in 10 on weekends.  Provider would average 20-25 patients per day.  Willing to consider either full or part-time physicians.  Growing suburb of ABC with the local economy quite diversified with the second busiest seaport on the coast, two major military bases and diverse manufacturing industries.  The community is multi-cultural with the ABC-XYZ area home to four major league sports teams and a vibrant arts community.  Medical practice views themselves as ministry as they try to represent Christ to patients.  Goal is to address spiritual needs of patients when possible as well as their physical and emotional needs.  Practice also seeks a balance between family and professional lives, realizing that staff shouldn’t sacrifice their families for the sake of medical care.  Ministry outside of the office includes short-term missions, medical support of the local crisis pregnancy center and the entire office staff participates in annual fund raising for the American Cancer Society.

 

I’d bet lots of money that this is my family doctor’s ad.  I knew I liked him – and his staff!

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Edit:  This ad was on the Christian Medical & Dental Association‘s website, where anyone could browse through all the ads (sorted by state).  Since then, they have changed their site so that isn’t possible.  However, they’ve added a placement service, which might be more effective in matching practices looking to hire with new doctors looking for a place to land.

Did I Mention That My PCP is Awesome?

Back again to my awesome PCP.  He looked at the model I took in and asked if I was bringing replacement parts.  Apparently he’s never had a patient bring an anatomical model and request an illustrated explanation!

Rotator Cuff

Another cortisone shot in both shoulders, plus a referral for physical therapy.  It seemed I was having more trouble with bursitis and tendonitis than with my hands and feet.

My doctor again took time to listen to me and answer my questions, and explained that all the inflammation was from the RA.  I left there feeling like he’s not paid nearly enough for all the help he’s given me.

 Crash…

My PCP is the Best!

Begin reading with Part 1

The Long Roller Coaster, Part 5
November ’08

Lately I’ve wished I’d attended medical school.  It sure would make it easier to understand some of this stuff! Having no background to understand this new diagnosis, and no information from the rheumy and his PA, I had to ask questions of someone knowledgeable.

I phoned my PCP’s office and asked if I could make an appointment just to ask questions.  That was one of the most beneficial doctor’s appointments I have ever had, and I left feeling that even if insurance didn’t cover it and I had to pay the whole cost myself, it would be some of the best money I’d ever spent.

My first question was, “Do you think I need to see a rheumatologist, or can you treat this?”  He looked at my medications, reviewed the report from the RD, and listened to me.

He explained that it sounded like the problem with the pain medication was an overdose, rather than an allergic reaction.  If I could bring myself to take half of a tablet, instead of two, I should be okay.  But he’d understand if I didn’t want to do that and didn’t push.  Later I searched for overdose data on that medication, and realized that my doctor was right; it definitely sounded like an overdose (even though I took the exact amount prescribed!).

Next we discussed RA, and he said that the medication I was taking was pretty mild, and he could do the follow-up as long as my symptoms were controlled by the mild medications.  My hopes went up.  He continued by saying that most people with RA end up on methotrexate or even stronger drugs, and he prefers not to prescribe those. Crash!  Back on the roller coaster.  My hopes were dashed – the PA had said he’d need to add another DMARD.  Although I didn’t like the guy, I wasn’t going to let that jeopardize my chances of still being able to walk in ten years, so I’d see him if I had to.

 

If there was an award for Best Doctor on the Planet, my PCP would be in the running for it.  He listened to me, explained things to me, and was honest about what he was comfortable treating.  Even though I’d prioritized my questions to ask the most important first, knowing that I’d run out of time before I ran out of questions, my doctor took extra time to answer every question, assured me that there was plenty of time, and never made me feel like I was imposing on him.

Relief…

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originally written as one huge post, and published 1/15/09 on the Arthritis Foundation’s host, I have broken this into a number of smaller posts