Finding a Multiple Sclerosis Neurologist that Works for You
Whether you are newly diagnosed or years into your MS diagnosis, it can be intimidating to find a MS doctor that fits your needs. You may have gotten a referral from your regular physician or you may have been left to search on your own, but either way finding one that works well with you is important for successful treatment. Very Well Health shared four steps to lead you to your MS doctor. Check out the first step here:
Step 1: Get a Sense of Your Options
There are no cookie-cutter MS doctors. Neurologists approach the job of caring for MS patients from different vantage points, and some may have special areas of expertise or strengths that resonate with your medical history.
Some common differences among doctors to keep in mind:
Although many doctors focus only on MS, others treat multiple neurological diseases and disorders, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy.
A possible advantage of teaming up with an MS-only neurologist is that he or she likely will have seen more patients with MS than a more general practitioner and may have experience with more variations of the disease. In addition, the staff of such a doctor may be especially knowledgeable and able to answer many of your basic questions.
Approach to Treatment
Some neurologists rely largely on disease-modifying medications and will start virtually every new patient on such treatment.1 Others take a more holistic approach and integrate psychological support, nutritional guidance, and physical therapy into patient care. They may even suggest and help you use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) options, such as yoga, meditation, and more.
Many neurologists who do multiple sclerosis research at academic medical centers also care for patients. There are pros and cons to signing on with such doctors. One advantage is they tend to be current on the latest treatments. On the other hand, their involvement in research may cause them to be less accessible.