The cancer guide from Livestrong is very useful…. and here are some other tips on finding a good doc.
1) Primary Physician – He has to answer questions and engage you — you want to understand the why and he should share it with you. I use he here because I am more comfortable with a man, than a woman as a doctor.
2) Ask if they have email or online access, this is a real bonus, mine uses “Mychart” and it is great to email him with any questions, and get an answer back, or check/make appts online. If you are in for more than a casual dance, this can really be helpful.
3) If he is a surgeon, he has to have seen a lot of cases like yours and have success stories. Mine has done over 700 surgeries similar to mine.
4) Get a referral – I asked my doctor if he would go to this doctor if he needed care, he told me he had referred his wife. OK — that’s a positive reference
5) Go large, or go home — if you have an odd case, get to the best place in the world, places like the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic — these guys have seen everything
6) Trust your gut — if something doesn’t feel right, get a second opinion.
7) You haven’t married him, if you don’t like what he is doing, fire his butt. Find another. That’s the free market. He will get over it.
8) If he tells you to do something, and it makes sense, do it, or stop doing it as he asks. You are paying him for goodness sake.
9) Keep a log/journal — helps when sorting through the bills ( or just email a copy to your wife )
10) Live, love and laugh
Pre-op physical in the bag. I’m sorry Mr W_ you are too ill for this operation, you have cancer. OK — I’ll come back later.
They asked me to sign a piece of paper saying I was liable for any costs not covered by insurance. I said, sure as long as you put the maximum on the paper. When I got out of the physical, she had a number on the paper, so I signed.
One of my pre-op blood tests was for lipids ( cholesterol/triglycerides ), I could do all the tests right then, but this requires a 12 hour fast. I said, I am not going to come back tomorrow for this, if I am alive next year you can test me. Fine with them, fine with me…