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What to look for in a doctor?

I’ve suffered from chronic migraines and daily headaches for as long as I can remember. I recently got insurance for the first time in over a decade so I saw a neurologist about my migraines. I went to him for 4 months. He didn’t do any tests, he just immediately put me on a monthly shot (Ajovy) and told me “don’t worry, we’re going to get rid of your migraines today). Well after 4 months I had no change, everything was exactly the same so I went to a different neurologist.

The new Dr said tell same exact thing to me (we’re getting rid of your migraines today) but he just got me off all medications (Ajovy, Imitrex, Amitriptyline). He didn’t do any tests either. Then when I went to see him again once I had got off all medications he spent the entire appointment from the very first sentence to when I left trying to get me on medical cannabis. Now, I’m not opposed to cannabis but it just seems like both drs were trying to sell me “their” drug rather than actually trying to fix/help the problem. S

hould I look for a third neurologist? And if so, what should I look for?

  1. Hi there, - Thanks so much for sharing your story. A very good series of questions you are asking. I've just recently written a couple of articles for the site on this topic which I'll share below. Hopefully they'll be of some help:

    https://migraine.com/living-migraine/evaluating-doctor-patient-relationship-right-fit/

    https://migraine.com/living-migraine/complexities-doctor-patient-relationship/

    In a nutshell, I'd suggest you seeking a migraine specialist specifically. Here is a link that will hopefully help you find one near you:
    https://migraine.com/blog/the-mrf-directory-of-headache-and-migraine-specialists/

    Hope this helps!

    1. Agree with Holly, if your neurologists are avpiding testing, they are avoiding thier jobs.

      Testing is essential for ruling out other conditions or finding a cause.

      You have every right to interview your doctor at the first visit. You can find lists of questions online.

      But basically you wany to ask things like "What is your approach?"

      You also have the right to request testing and to advocate for the therapies you want to try.

      Sample sentence: "I appreciate your concern for immediate relief. I really want to find the underlying cause if there is one and want an (insert test(s)). I'm also wanting to try this specific medicine or therapy."

      Good doctors are moving toqard having a partnership with thier patients. You bring the knowledge and expertise of living with your condition, they bring knowledge and expertise in treating conditions (as well as being the access points to many tests and therapies.)

      Best to you in finding a partner-doctor!


      (Aside: My own healthcare plan is so poor and difficult to navigate, I have essentially given up on following the advice I just suggested. I have state-sponsored care. The doctors are subpar, the coverage limited, the wait times excessive and the buearacracy infuriating. I use my healthcare plan for acute and traumatic care, obtain prescriptions, or to address new concerns. For established, chronic conditions, I manage my care through "folk medicine" A.k.a knowledgeable lay persons, nutritionists, herbalists, and the internet including communities like this one, in addition to vigilant self care.)

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