The decision to change doctors is a personal one based on your experiences and further questions you may have.
You might wish to change physicians when a physician cannot suggest further treatment options or if you feel that communication with your physician is not effective.
Several resources exist for finding a physician expert in psoriasis, including the National Psoriasis Foundation, the American Academy of Dermatology, the dermatology department or division at a medical school in your area, and recommendations from other people with psoriasis.
Your dermatologist or medical doctor may be able to recommend a psoriasis expert nearby. As a starting point, most of this information can be found on the Internet.
To get the most out of a new appointment, carefully select a knowledgeable physician ahead of time. Gather all your current medications for psoriasis and other dis-eases.
Record all prior medications used to treat psoriasis. Particularly for oral medications, dosages and periods of time used are required to help evaluate the risk of side effects.
Ask your current doctor to give you copies of clinic notes, laboratory work, and a pathology report if a biopsy was done. Gathering this information ahead of time makes a consultation more effective and helps to avoid a delay in sending records between offices.
Bring the name and address of a physician who knows you (another dermatologist, your internist, or another physician you see regularly), and the results of your appointment will be reported in a letter from the new consultant to your regular doctor.
Recognize that it may take more than one visit to get all of your questions answered and that forming a working relationship over time is a critical part of your care.
At the end of a new consultation, you have the opportunity to return to your treating physician or to continue care with the consulting physician. Factors such as personal preferences, convenience, availability, or coverage by a particular insurance plan may be important factors in that decision.
Whoever you decide to use as your primary physician for psoriasis, it is important to stay in close contact with him or her to coordinate your care, watch for medication side effects over time, monitor blood work if needed, and be the primary individual responsible for monitoring your care and collecting your medical records.
There may be times that you see your dermatologist a lot, so it’s important to find one who you can relate to well. Your treatment should be a partnership.