Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams’ Steps To Finding The Perfect Neurologist (Video)
The best way to find a neurologist is certainly a recommendation from a person’s primary care physician. So oftentimes your primary care physician will have a good relationship with people in the area and know a good neurologist to refer to. If you’re looking specifically for an MS specialist, the MS Society actually has a directory of centers of excellence for Multiple Sclerosis. So you can go to their website, plug in your zip code, and it will give you a list of MS centers that are closest to you.
And oftentimes a person will have a local neurologist and an MS specialist. So I may have many patients that will come and see me once or twice a year and then they’ll have a local neurologist, especially if they live an hour or more away, who will handle some of those issues if they’re having a relapse or need hospitalization or need other things very quickly. We partnered together to make sure that we’re taken care of that person’s MS, holistically.
When you think about looking for a good neurologist, there are many people who don’t necessarily have access to a specialty center and there are many general neurologists who are very good at treating multiple sclerosis. One of the most important things I think is to make sure that you have a good rapport, a good relationship with that physician because you will be telling them about very intimate things about your life and you may have to see them very regularly, especially early on in diagnosis. So making sure that you feel comfortable with your physician or healthcare provider is extremely important.
Also, making sure that they do know something about the different treatments for multiple sclerosis or at least have someone that they can consult with or contact if they’re having questions about treatment. And then finally making sure you have someone that listens to you and listens to your concerns because MS is a disease that’s very dynamic and just as our lives are dynamic and we change over time, your needs can change over time. And so it’s important that you have someone that can change with you and know the new advancements that are going on and be able to adjust if your treatment needs change.