Finding the Right Doctor
Finding the right doctor can make a huge difference in your loved one. A doctor that is passive may not push the patient enough, and a doctor that is too aggressive may cause your loved one to feel too overwhelmed. Here are a few characteristics that you want to look for in a great doctor.
An active learner
Your doctor should be actively learning more about COPD and new treatments. Someone who is attending the conferences that present new studies and research will not become stagnant. If you have a doctor that is a constant student, you also have someone that is not satisfied with the status quo.
Good bedside manner
Your doctor needs to have good "bedside manner." This is something that becomes evident over time. However, if you see signs of a poor attitude or if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable, you might want to find someone else, sooner rather than later. It is hard to absorb all of the information from your doctor if you are closed off because of poor "bedside manners."
Passionate about their patients' well-being
Sometimes there are doctors that will assess the situation and prescribe medications without much thought beyond the office visit. Then there are the doctors that will stand in the gap between your loved one and poor situations at the hospital, dig through samples to help alleviate the strain of the cost of some of the best medications, or hold your hand as hard decisions need to be made. Just as all patients are different, doctors are different too and may show their care for the patient in different ways. ou are looking for the right fit that works with your family.
An aggressive fighter
You need a doctor that is willing to aggressively fight this disease with every method available. There are medications, exercises, transplants and reduction surgeries to be considered, and you need to know that the doctor is willing to fight for your loved one.
Perfect for some
Mom's pulmonary doctor was tough. She rarely used extra words just for fluff, but there was such an incredible level of respect that we had for her that we were able to trust her completely. She was the perfect fit for mom and me. However, my dad did not have the same kind of relationship with her. He needed a different kind of communication. He needed things explained to him differently. You need to remember that this is okay.
The most important thing is the patient-doctor relationship. If your loved one, the patient, is not comfortable with the pulmonologist, it is time to look for someone else. Sometimes it is as easy as finding someone else within the medical group, and sometimes it will require changing offices completely. Just do what it takes to find the right doctor for your family, and once you find the right doctor, commit to doing as much of what is prescribed as possible. A great doctor has no power to help the patient that will not listen.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?