© 1991. Last update 2011.
Dr. Albee On . . .
SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH YOUR LOCAL PHYSICIAN BEFORE AND AFTER A TRIP TO THE CENTER FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS CARE.
Typically, the OB/GYN spends nine years after college learning the basics of the profession. There is an enormous amount of information and experience required to master the many areas of expertise within the specialty. We must keep in mind that there are many honest and caring physicians who may have a different opinion about the causes and treatments of endometriosis. They are still good doctors!
The notion that specialists do exist in the area of endometriosis treatment within the field of gynecology is still a new one for many. Reproductive endocrinologists may see a higher percentage of endometriosis patients than the average gynecologist because a great many endo patients have some fertility problems; however, to my knowledge there really very few practitioners (including REs) who devote the majority of their time to endometriosis.
It can be very helpful to remind yourself and your doctor of the things that he/she has done well. Most women select their GYN with great care. It is my opinion that GYNs are among the most caring and expert group of MD’s that you could find anywhere. If there are questions regarding your endometriosis care that have concerned you or led you to independent research, don’t forget the ways in which your doctor has helped over the years.
A carefully worded appeal that includes some of the points above is very difficult for any practitioner to simply ignore or brush off. For example, "Dr. Spock, you have helped me greatly in the past. I will always appreciate your skill and efforts on my behalf. Now, I would like to ask you if you would please help me to get another opinion as I seek to find answers for my pain. I still consider you to be my doctor!"
Tips For Being Referred Out:
Although the CEC does not require you to have a doctor’s referral to consult us, your insurance carrier may have other rules. If you need your doctor to refer you out of the network, try these tips.
Ask specifically, don’t beat around the bush.
Tell the doctor why you have chosen the Center for Endometriosis Care. Be prepared to report to him/her the reasons our Center is worthy of their respect (things like: satisfied patient experience, worldwide referral base, thousands of patients in an active data base of follow-up, information resources, etc.).
Don’t argue theories of treatment or etiology. This is not likely to be successful or helpful, and may frustrate you both.
If you plan to continue your regular care with the doctor, be sure to emphasize that point to him/her.
Explain that you are still gathering information and that you will make your decisions after you have completed the process. This is just a step toward that end.
Send CEC information to your doctor from the pages of our sites or ask her/him to call us.
Tips When Going Back:
These tips may make your post-Atlanta doctor visits easier.
Be sure to compliment your doctor for all the things that you learned that were done well ("Dr. Albee said that the areas you operated on were clean and without adhesions").
Be sure to take the complete operative report and pathology reports with you (these are sent to you post-operatively).
Thank him/her for facilitating you to get specialized help for your endometriosis/pelvic pain with their blessing.
If your doctor disagrees with things that you have heard here, it probably is due to different beliefs regarding treatment and causes of recurrence. It is usually best not to challenge the basic beliefs in a setting where you are trying to get help for better care. If you need clarification of our views or reassurance regarding something which seems discouraging, call us. We can help you try to put what you have heard in perspective with our beliefs. We are also delighted to discuss your situation with your doctor anytime there are any questions and believe in the power of respectful collaboration.
The very best way to change the way gynecologists treat endometriosis is to allow them to see for themselves. This means they need to follow-up patients who experience long intervals of improvement in pain and absence of recurrence after surgery here. Over the course of time I am convinced that we will see the benefits of excision more and more widely accepted as the gold standard of endometriosis treatment.
Dr Robert B. Albee, Jr. is the Founder of the Center for Endometriosis Care.
Original date of publication: 1996
Latest update: 2016