Whether your doctor is a family healthcare provider or a specialist (like a gastroenterologist), there are certain qualities to look for to help you get the care you need for your gastroparesis.
Here are some tips on things to consider:
- Is your healthcare provider sympathetic? Does he or she listen carefully as you explain your symptoms? Does he or she understand the real impact of gastroparesis on your life? If you feel your doctor thinks your symptoms are trivial or “all in your head,” it’s time to move on.
- Does your healthcare provider spend the time needed to explain and discuss your gastroparesis?
- Does your healthcare provider order many tests, but fail to explain the reason for them and the meaning of their results?
- Does your healthcare provider regularly order medicines or diets without an explanation of their risks and benefits?
- Are you able to get an appointment within a reasonable time?
- Is your healthcare provider usually available, or do you often see a stand-in who is unfamiliar with your case?
- Does your healthcare provider seem knowledgeable about your illness, yet willing to seek a specialist’s advice for difficult issues?
Perhaps most importantly, does the healthcare provider inspire your confidence? Are you able to establish a good relationship? Gastroparesis is a long-term condition that will likely take twists and turns over time. You will be best served by a healthcare provider who is your partner through this.
No healthcare provider is perfect, but the answers to the above questions should help you decide. Remember, you are not married to your healthcare provider. It is your right to find a new one and have your complete medical record transferred. On the other hand, too many changes can work against you.
More Finding a Doctor Topics
- How to Talk to Your Doctor
- Doctor-Patient Communication
- How to Help Your Doctor Help You
- Helpful Insights from a GI Doctor
- Changing Doctors
Looking for a Provider? Helpful links:
- Find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – Compiled and maintained by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- AGA GI Locator Service – Compiled and maintained by American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
- Find a Gastroenterologist – Compiled and maintained by American College of Gastroenterology (ACG)
- A Registry of GI Motility Laboratories for Patient Evaluation – Compiled and maintained by The American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS)
- Find a Pediatric Gastroenterologist – Compiled and maintained by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN)
Adapted from IFFGD publication: I Have a Gut Problem: Which Doctor Should I See? By W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCP(C), Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.