Choosing a Doctor
When someone has asthma, it's unfortunately a lifelong condition that must be dealt with properly. On the positive side of the spectrum, most people are now much more able to live happy, active and normal lives than they were even a decade ago given the incredible advancements that have been made in diagnosing and treating asthma.
However, perhaps the most important decision you'll make in treating and managing this disease is the doctor you choose. He or she will almost literally serve as your partner in your ongoing treatment, and finding the right fit will not only help you handle the condition properly but also to enjoy a higher degree of success in your fight against this disease.
Below are a few factors to consider when choosing an asthma doctor:
- Begin with your existing doctor – Most people already have a general practioner/primary care provider for most of their medical needs, so it's usually a good idea to start by asking him or her for a referral to a specialist. This could allow for a smooth transition with your records and other knowledge that could be helpful in the efficiency of your treatment.
- Insurance issues – Before deciding on a particular specialist, you should make sure that there won't be any issues with the acceptance of your insurance coverage, as that could lead to an extremely negative surprise down the road.
- Experience – Don't be afraid to ask the specialist about his or her experience before agreeing to see him or her. You don't want to have to deal with a learning curve that could come at your expense.
- Logistics – Although there aren't as many specialists for asthma as there are general practioners, it's still a worthwhile consideration, as it won't be easy to drive for three hours every time you need medical help. In fact, there are times when it may not even be possible.
- Personality fit – Regardless of how competent the doctor may be, you still need and deserve to feel comfortable with his or her recommendations and approach. Although that shouldn't necessarily be 'the' deciding factor, you are still the one who's paying for this service and should be able to communicate easily with your doctor.
Of course, these are only five of several factors you should consider, but the specific, exhaustive list of variables that are important to you are for you to ultimately decide. Do not hesitate to be thorough in your search and your diligence, as making the right choice of a specialist will go a long way to helping you manage asthma and to living a happy and healthy life.