My neurologist has moved away. I’m grieving. Granted he was a curmudgeon with mixed bedside manner. But we were very compatible. He was always available (email return within 24 hrs), he answered my questions, asked if I had any more, educated me, reassured me, and understood my life goals. The electronic medical record was state of the art, meaning only fair. He didn’t use the Open Notes feature (remember curmudgeon). The team of nurse, assistant, and physical therapist were also characters, but competent and has each gone the extra mile for me. Since my job changed it’s been way less convenient for me to go to his office. So now that he’s leaving, I’m reluctant to start with a new doctor in the same practice. How to choose? First I thought of going to a neurologist close by in the hospital my wife works in, but he’s a solo practitioner and not part of their MS team. My departing neurologist recommends one practice, I’m curious about another, Unfortunately, our insurance, from my wife’s employer, has both the MS practices I’m interested in on a Tier 3 – much more expensive. $150/visit versus $35. Money is certainly not my first consideration-we’re doing OK financially, unlike many. How important is the recommendation I received from the departing neurologist? He disses several doctors that I like (again curmudgeon). I want a full MS clinic with other specialists who talk to each other and work together in case/when my MS progresses. I want physical and occupational therapists who know MS. I’m a nurse, I want nurses who know me and know MS. You get the drift. I want a place with an evolving improving electronic health record. I want commitments about response times. I want people who will partner with me and listen to me while giving it to me straight. My previous neurologist once emailed me back, “Oh, get over it.” Another time, “this is new, I can see you tomorrow.” (curmudgeon). I will check out the prospective doc on my first visit. How much does she listen? What kind of coverage is there? I’ve tried to ask about the clinic on patientslikeme.com but no takers. I’m trying to find nurses who might know the nurses at the clinics. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted. Having an ace team is everything. Losing a member is tough.
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