Tips on Finding a Healthcare Provider

Whether your healthcare provider is a family provider or a specialist (such as a gastroenterologist), there are certain qualities to look for to help you get the care you need for your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Use these tips to help you find the right healthcare provider.

  • Is your healthcare provider sympathetic? Do they listen carefully as you explain your symptoms? Do they understand the real impact of IBS on your life? If you feel your healthcare provider thinks your symptoms are trivial or “all in your head,” it’s time to move on.
  • Does your healthcare provider spend the time needed to explain and discuss your IBS?
  • Does your healthcare provider order many tests, but fail to explain the reason for them and the meaning of their results?
  • Does your healthcare provider regularly order medicines or diets without an explanation of their risks and benefits?
  • Are you able to get an appointment within a reasonable time?
  • Is your healthcare provider usually available, or do you often see a stand-in who is unfamiliar with your case?
  • Does your healthcare provider seem knowledgeable about your illness, yet willing to seek a specialist’s advice for difficult issues?
  • Perhaps most importantly, does the healthcare provider inspire your confidence? Are you able to establish a good relationship? IBS is a long-term condition that will likely take twists and turns over time. You will be best served by a healthcare provider who is your partner through this.
No healthcare provider is perfect, but the answers to the above questions should help you decide. Remember, you are not married to your healthcare provider. It is your right to find a new one and have your complete medical record transferred. On the other hand, too many changes can work against you.

More Finding a Healthcare Provider Topics

Looking For A Provider? Helpful Links:

Find A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – Compiled And Maintained By Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics Find A Gastroenterologist – Compiled And Maintained By The American College Of Gastroenterology (ACG) A Registry Of GI Motility Laboratories For Patient Evaluation – Compiled And Maintained By The American Neurogastroenterology And Motility Society (ANMS) AGA GI Locator Service – Compiled And Maintained By American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Find A Pediatric Gastroenterologist – Compiled And Maintained By The North American Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology And Nutrition (NASPGHAN)

Adapted from IFFGD Publication by W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCP(C), Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

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