Choosing a Gastroenterologist
Last updated: March 2021
I have had my fair share of doctors over the years. Some gastroenterologists I liked, and some not so much. Over the last few weeks, I have really thought about how wonderful my gastroenterologist is. For the purpose of privacy, I will not write anybody’s name.
When I was in the hospital for the three hundred and seventy one days, I saw the entire gastroenterology department.
And I got to know them pretty well. Some doctors came in my room and I really liked them. They were aggressive and proactive. They had great bedside manners and listened to what my concerns were. Others were very pompous, had terrible bedside manner, and felt like the “waiting game” was the way to go. I think when it comes to the stomach, you need to have a doctor that is aware of the situation, ready to make quick decisions, and like I said before, he or she listens to their patients.
I put together a few traits I look at when evaluating a gastroenterologists.
1. Good Listener
- My stomach doctor listens to me. He always ask, “how are you feeling?” “What medications are working, or what are not?” I think this is very important, as I know my body best. Crohn’s comes in different severities, and every case is unique and different. To me, you can be the smartest doctor in the world, but if you don’t want to what to listen to what the patient to say, then whelp you're not that great of a doctor.
- My stomach doctor is aggressive. If he sees a problem, he wants to fix it right away. He doesn’t wait until it gets out of hand. I had many doctors while in the hospital who loved playing the waiting game. Time goes by so slowly, and a “watched pot doesn’t boil.” I can’t sit around waiting to see if the medication will work in six months. Lets try things that will fix the issue now, as we are waiting for other things to work. I dealt with that before. I might sound rude, but I hate waiting.
3. Experienced and Well Known
- Maybe I am biased, but I like to work with stomach doctors who have been around a while. Other doctors know them, and they have the experience. I look at their qualifications. I like when I read that they studied at Cleveland Clinic, the “Mecca of Gastroenterology." I have flown out there before, and their doctors are the “cream of the crop.”
All and all, its up to you what you prefer. Things I have listed you might be going, “Hey Paul, I know that already.” And that’s ok! Some of you are also thinking, “Hey Paul, there is a lot more I take into account when thinking about a stomach doctor.” And that’s fine too! At the end of the day, you have to work with the doctor on a daily basis. You have to feel comfortable with your doctor; it’s your stomach. If you have more questions about specific doctors, please reach out to me! The Philadelphia region is my specialty!
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