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How to pick a doctor

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi i live in northeastern Pennsylvania and have a problem, it seems I cant figure out a way to find an experienced doctor in my blue shield network. They wont recommend a doctor and the specialist I have I really dont trust. He seems to want to rush me and never told me the doctors name that he wants me to see. If any of you could let me know how you settled on a doctor I could use the advice ,thanks ...Nick

lshick's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi again.

Picking a doctor is almost, but not quite, secondary to picking a treatment modality (see below). I can't help you with BCBS, but:

If I were you, knowing what I know now, I'd start by looking over in the left column of this page at "Treatment Decision Tools." It will ask a lot of information, much of which you won't have now. Don't let that bother you. Fill in what you know, and come back and fill in the rest as you get it. The output will be guidance on tradeoffs for your specific case. And (if you've a mind to) you can read the underlying clinical studies that produced the information.

Then go over to HealingWell (http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35) and yananow.net and do some searches on "BCBS" and the treatments that look right for you. If that comes up empty, ask the guys there. Collectively, all of us together have seen nearly everything. That doesn't make us right, just experienced. And we're not doctors.

Eventually, you'll figure out what treatment is best for you, or at least what the right questions are to highlight the uncertainties. There are no guarantees with any treatment. Then go find the Most Experienced practitioner of that technology you can get, and put yourself in his (I assume) hands. If you're willing to travel, you'll "widen your net." Trust is everything.

But (BIG but!) if you decide that technology A is better for you than technology B, but you can only find average practitioners for A, and a really superior practitioner for B, GO WITH B!

On the general subject of picking a specialist, see http://prostatecancerinfolink.net/tips-tools/

Good luck. We're here for you.


lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

I agree with the other Larry. From the research I have done all of the different treatment options have the same goal...Getting rid of the cancer. This is the one disease where the patient picks which of the many to choose from and it can be confusing!

Again as Larry stated once you decide on the treatment then look for the BEST you can find.
You get one shot on the initial procedure to eliminate the cancer. If possible travel to a larger city. I could have robotic done 30 minutes from where I live but I have picked a Doctor 2 1/ hours away that has done over 2700 robotic procedures and 2500 traditional prostate surgeries. If you go surgery the skill of the Doctor can impact your quick recovery.

Don't let your local doctor rush you. I had Gleason 7's in all of my cores and my Doctor said I wouldn't wait over 1 year but try to get something done as soon as possible. He has been very supportive even though I picked another Doctor over him. Local Doctor does not do robotic. He told me he would still provide my follow up care.

I think you stated you live in Eastern PA. How close are you to NYC? Is that an option or how about Philladelphia?

Keep us posted since we all care.

Tennessee Larry

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