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Finding the right doctor

We know how stressful it can be to figure out your treatment plan while you are experiencing symptoms of an autoimmune disease. A trusted doctor who understands and listens is an essential tool to help you take control of your health. Patients often try working with multiple doctors before finding the right fit and treatment plan; learn what to look for to find the optimal care team.

Do I need a general practitioner or specialist?

Different types of doctors can help you get a comprehensive picture of your health. Medical doctors (MDs) fall into two categories: generalists and specialists. Generalists (Primary Care Providers) are doctors who are a patient’s first point of entry into the healthcare system. Generalists conduct annual physicals, or are a starting point if you need to assess something that’s wrong with your health. They’ve been trained to diagnose a variety of conditions and can assist in helping you track your health over time or in coordinating care when you’re seeing a number of specialists.

Specialists are doctors who have advanced training and degrees in a particular branch of medicine, such as joint health or gastrointestinal health. Depending on the symptom, your primary care provider may recommend that you follow up with a specialist who can further diagnose and recommend treatment. Many health insurers require you to get a referral to a specialist from your primary care doctor.

Tips for Finding a Physician

1

Advocate for yourself

You know your symptoms and experience best – don’t be afraid to speak up if something isn’t working, or doesn’t feel right. The right doctor should be receptive to these conversations.

2

Use your intuition

If you feel like you’re not being heard, or something feels off, your doctor/patient partnership may be the right fit. Trust your gut!

3

Be patient

Finding the right doctor, or team of doctors, can take time. Anticipate that you may try a few before it all falls into place!

4

Ask questions

Ask your doctor about their experience in caring for autoimmune patients, their experience with your specific condition, and anything else on your mind! If you don’t ask, you won’t know, and the more information you have available, the more comfortable you will be.

Major U.S. Clinics

AHN Autoimmunity Institute
West Penn Hospital
Mellon Pavilion
4815 Liberty Ave. Suite 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Tel: 412.578.1152 or (833) 242-8246
Website

Autoimmune Center
Mid-Michigan Medical Offices
Main Number: (989) 802-8525

Cleveland Clinic
Main NuGeneral Information:
800-223-2273
my.clevelandclinic.org
MyConsult

Cleveland Clinic Florida
2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd
Weston, Florida 33331
Phone: (954) 659-5000

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
888 West Bonneville Ave.
Las Vegas , Nevada 89106
Phone: (702) 483-6000

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Main Number: 410-955-5000
hopkinsmedicine.org

Kao Autoimmunity Institute
8700 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
1-800-CEDARS1
Website

Mayo Clinic
Main Number: (507) 284-2511
www.mayoclinic.org

Mayo Clinic – Scottsdale
13400 E. Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
General number: 480-301-8000
Appointment Office: 480-301-1735 or 800-446-2279

Mayo Clinic – Florida — Jacksonville
4500 San Pablo Road
Jacksonville, FL 32224
General number: (904) 953-2000
Appointment Office: (904) 953-0853

National Institute of Health Clinical Center
Main Number: (301) 496-4000
Website

NIH Clinical Center Division of International Services
Main Number: (301) 496-6166
Email: IPS@mail.nih.gov

Undiagnosed Disease Network
Website
Email: UDN@hms.harvard.edu
Phone: 1-844-746-4836

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