Your Doctor and Hospital
It is not unusual for people with young onset Parkinson's disease to have seen many doctors in the months or years prior to diagnosis in an attempt to understand what seem like unexplainable symptoms.
For many, treatment is ultimately provided by a neurologist or a movement disorders specialist (a neurologist with a specialty in treating Parkinson's and other Parkinson's-like diseases). The doctor you choose to treat your PD should be someone with whom you can develop a good partnership. Even the best medical professionals cannot help you unless they are able to make the time to really listen to you and to fully understand and address your questions and concerns. You may consider asking yourself:
- Do I feel I can be truly honest with this doctor?
- Does he or she seem to take my questions and concerns seriously?
- Do I feel comfortable enough to ask questions about even the most uncomfortable of topics (such as sex and sexuality, bladder/bowel functioning, etc.)?
- Do I feel that this doctor has my best interest in mind?
If you answered "no," to any of these questions, you may want to continue your search for the right physician.
Whether you are consulting a neurologist in order to confirm a diagnosis of PD or to investigate new or different treatment options, choosing the doctor who will treat your Parkinson's is likely to be one of the most important healthcare decisions you will make so consider it carefully.
Keep in mind that your healthcare plan and insurance coverage requirements may have some bearing on which providers you choose.
Ask family members or friends for referrals to qualified, competent healthcare professionals. Other people with PD are also an excellent resource, so ask around, and if you have had a good experience with a group of professionals or a particular facility, share that information with others.
- Hospitalization of a Parkinson's Patient (Supplement)
- When Should Parkinson's Disease Patients Go To The Emergency Room? (Supplement)
- Common Health Issues & Parkinson's: Understanding Symptoms and When to Take Action (Webcast)
Presented by Dr. Michael Rezak at the Young Onset Parkinson's Conference, Irvine, CA, 2012