Thursday Health Thoughts: Doctors out of State/Country Series- Part Two- How to Find a Doctor Out of State/Country

June 5, 2014

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Happy Thursday y'all!! I am so excited to continue this six part series on Thursdays dealing with topics related to seeing doctors out of state or country. Last week (in part one) we talked about Making the decision to go out of state/country) and as I mentioned I will be talking about this subject (and sharing some of my own experiences) in the following weeks and am excited to have several guest bloggers who have chosen this option for various reasons and are going to share their experiences too! Here is the list of the topics for the series and the coming weeks:

Today I want to talk with y'all about how to find a doctor who is out of state or country. This is probably one of the questions that I receive the most from people who read my story and I am excited to share but also hear from y'all who have experience with this! (Side note: No offense to any of my doctors but NONE of them have ever looked like this guy*smiles*But this single gal can dream right? Either way I hope it brings a smile to your face! *smiles*)

So how do you find a doctor who is out of state or country for your illness? Here are just a few ideas:

(one) If possible, contact the non-profit organization that deals with your disease. This is one of the simplest ways to find a doctor who might be located out of state or country. You can easily do a search for your illness in Google and it should bring up several options of organizations. You could call or email them and ask for suggestions in your state and if they don't have any ideas they might be able to suggest some doctors out of state who could help you. Some organizations might also have suggestions of "sister organizations" in other countries that you could check out! 

(two) Ask your current doctor for any suggestions. This also is a really simple idea but sometimes very effective. One of my friends found her specialist through her current general practitioner. It turned out that they had gone to college together and they had kept in touch! You never know who someone might know in the age of linked in and facebook so don't be shy to ask for suggestions!

(three) Ask friends, family members, co-workers, etc. for suggestions. Sometimes you are not ready to discuss the specifics with your illness (which is completely understandable!!) but if you are at a point where you feel comfortable you might find some great suggestions within your personal network. Be specific for what you are looking for and ask around to see if anyone might know someone. You might be just as surprised as a friend of mine that her brother-in-laws sister's best friend had the same disease and had a suggestion of a wonderful specialist!

(four) Contact major hospitals for suggestions. This point can be really helpful depending on the disease or chronic illness you are dealing with. I have been able to get tons of helpful suggestions for qualified skin cancer doctors, BUT have really been given no significant help with Lyme Doctors. So for some people this might be a really helpful suggestion and for others you might want to pass on it! *smiles* (Just a little side note: don't be discouraged if you the "top doctors" you are recommended aren't able to help you. Keep pressing on till you find a doctor who is willing to work with you for your health!)

(five) Research. Research. Research. I sometimes joke that while obtaining my PhD in History might be on hold I have gained a Masters (soon to be a PhD) in Lyme Disease. Truly. I have read over 350 books and articles on Lyme Disease alone this past year (including those from abroad) and that is not including the other 240 books on Cancer, Sojourn's, IBD, nutrition, herbs, supplements, etc that I have also read. In the midst of all of this I have hundreds of doctors names who have made comments that I have found particularly interesting or noteworthy on an idea that might be helpful and any contact information that I can find about them. Since some of the books were written decades ago these practitioners are not still in practice BUT it is amazing how contacting them can bring about different suggestions and ideas of other doctors! SERIOUSLY amazing. I highly suggest keeping a notebook of any doctor or practitioner that you hear about and keeping this with you to contact or to reference. 

(six) Be open to ideas your research brings! When my first choice doctor for Lyme Disease  stopped taking new patients I was desperate to find a new solution and doctor. I thought about calling the doctor and now begging to have some ideas of who he would recommend seeing.  I called the office numerous times and after I didn't get anywhere with that I was at a loss of what to do as I believed this particular doctors treatment would be the best for my case (after all of my research).  One night when I couldn't sleep due to pain I started thinking about all of the research that I had done and started pouring back over it. My idea was to find any doctor who had collaborated with, written an article with, gone to a reception with,  or ANYTHING with my "first choice" doctor. *smiles* I came across a particular doctor who kept showing up in several articles, had written a book, had mentioned similar treatment techniques, etc. and called the next morning. It is amazing to see how God orchestrated everything because at the time I had no idea that I would also be dealing with an environmental illness and have a specialist in the clinic that deals with that and Lyme Disease together! Honestly I look back now and see that the "closed" door that I had thought was truly traumatic turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I LOVE my doctor and no offense to the original first choice but I wouldn't trade them at all! I respect their treatment plan and am blown away by the professionalism of their office. TRULY amazing! My suggestion is to keep knocking down every door you can until you find your doctor! You can do it!!

(seven) Sometimes "Mr. Google" is the best way to obtain information. I have had many friends who due to specific illnesses and health reasons have no way of finding out information besides Mr. Google. Sometimes this is the best research tool. 

(eight) Use social media to your advantage! Sometimes social media can be an amazing tool to find a new health practitioner- specifically one that is out of state or country. This is very similar to number three above except that you might not know the person who is suggesting the information. Sometimes though the best resources can come from someone going through our particular circumstances. As with number seven I would highly suggest that you research fully any and all information found but this might be a great suggestion for those that can't use any of the other ideas mentioned.

Thanks so much for reading y'all! I hope that this series will be a help to you or a friend! If you have experience of finding a doctor who is out of state or country could you share in the comments your ideas? I would love to learn new ideas and thoughts! Also I am so excited that Next Thursday I will be having a special guest blogger share her AMAZING story!!! Happy Thursday y'all! 

1 comment

  1. You are filled with so much knowledge!!!!! Excited for next Thursday too!