It can be unsettling enough to learn you have thyroid problems but then comes the confusion of having to find an endocrinologist. It may not seem like it now, but this is a position of power. It’s scary to be sick, but an endocrinologist is a path to finally getting some answers. This specialist is an important team member in your quest to really understand your thyroid issues and gain control over them. With a few easy steps, the process of searching will feel much less intimidating.
Check Your Insurance Plan
We’re starting here because it’s often the deal-breaker when looking for a new doctor. It’s disappointing to get excited over your top pick, only to find they are not in your network. Checking this first gives you a list of qualified providers your plan will allow you to use without penalty. There is usually a number you can call on the back of your insurance card to find out which physicians are in your network. Luckily, there are many endocrinologists in Tampa, which gives you quite a lot of choice.
Ask Around and Research
Now that you’re armed with a workable list, you can begin your research. You can check with your friends, family and social media connections to see if anyone has had experience with a physician on your list. Your other doctors may have recommendations for you as well. You can check the AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) website as well. Research each doctor online and check out their website. Look at their education and how involved they are in their field.
Decide Your Preferences
Each person, depending on their needs, will have their own ideas for what makes a great doctor. You might want one that specializes in the thyroid as opposed to someone who is a generalist or specializes in diabetes. Perhaps you want a doctor who is near another you visit regularly. You may need an office that is near your home, work or public transportation. Some people even choose a doctor that participates in the same sport they do, so they will be on the same wavelength. Deciding what’s important to you will help you narrow it down.
Write Down Your Questions in Advance
It’s easy to get flustered when meeting new doctors and forget to ask all the questions you were thinking about before your appointment. Writing them down in advance, when you are calm and collected, will make sure you cover all the bases.
Bring the List with You
Bringing the list with you will help ensure you don’t forget anything important. You can even create the list on your phone, so you’ll know for sure you have it with you.
Don’t feel bad about your questions. Think of your body as a company that is hiring team members. Interviews are very important in this process and will pay dividends by landing you a doctor with whom you can really communicate. You’ll find your endocrinologist is the MVP in managing your thyroid dysfunction.
Pay Your Top Picks a Visit
If there isn’t already a clear choice, a visit to your favorites will help you decide on someone. You will likely see your endocrinologist for many years, so you want to feel welcome and comfortable in the office. Is the seating comfortable? You may be waiting on days you don’t feel very well. Is the staff welcoming? They will be your primary point of contact when making appointments. Break out your list. Does the doctor answer your questions in an informative way? You’ll want your condition and your medications explained in a way you can understand. You want to be able to trust that they hear your questions and will respond with appropriately informative answers.
Don’t be Afraid to Change Your Mind
We can feel like everything we decide is permanent and we are stuck now, but it’s not true. We have power over our choices. Sometimes things just don’t work out. It’s okay. It’s not a mistake. You just learned something, and you can move on. If you aren’t happy with your endocrinologist, you are free to choose another. Simply start at the top of the list and work your way down again. Be sure to note what bothered you about the last doctor, so you can make sure it’s not an issue with the new one.
Putting it All Together
We’re hoping this article has taken away some of the overwhelm our prospective patients can feel when faced with having to choose a new doctor amidst a health crisis. We’d like to invite you to take a look around the website and check out our experience. If you feel comfortable, we’d love to hear from you and discuss how we can help you manage your thyroid challenges.