From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook Feb 2001:

Getting a New Doc !

by Bill Capman, Worcester (MA) Ostomy Association

Changing doctors is always an uneasy time and is especially difficult for someone with an ostomy. Many primary care physicians do not have much experience with ostomy care and are not familiar with the different kinds of problems that can occur; i.e., skin irritations, blockages, proper pouching systems, diets and emotional problems.

If you are joining an HMO for the first time, it is very important, after choosing an HMO primary-care doctor, that you set up a "get acquainted" appointment.

You should ask how much experience he/she has treating ostomy patients and, most important, how readily he will refer you to a specialist.

This, of course, applies to any chronic ailment, not just to ostomies. Trust your instincts - if you don't have confidence in a doctor when you're healthy, odds are you won't like him when you're sick.

Most HMOs will pay for the appointment.

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Content last revised 2001-02-15