As we progress through the various twists and turns of our treatment it is not uncommon to decide that you want to switch your doctors. It is also an excellent idea to occasionally seek a second opinion to insure that you are in fact getting cutting edge treatment.
Once you have decided to change a physician or obtain a second opinion you are faced with the task of identifying whom to see. This problem is not any different from the problem you faced when you were first diagnosed and had to find a doctor to provide primary treatment.
To identify the right physician is often a difficult and emotionally draining process. However, it does not have to be has hard as it first seems. So, how do you identify this doctor?
The process is easier if you approach the issue in an organized and thoughtful manner. Leave out the emotional part and develop a strategy. Then follow through with the plan.
First, go to the web sites of all the hospitals that are nearby to where you live. They will have some sort of physician referral service for their doctors. Usually, the physicians will be listed by specialty and in the case on cancer doctors they will often list their cancer specialty. If you are looking for a second opinion you should consider expanding your search to a major cancer institute (N.I.H.-designated cancer centers or one that is accredited by the American College of Surgeons/American Cancer Society program, even if it means traveling a longer distance.
Use word of mouth, it is one of the best sources for doctor referrals. Other men will not only share the names of their physicians, but you will get specific feedback about their experience with the doctor. Ask at support groups, cancer lectures and ask your other doctors for their recommendations.
When you come up with a list of specific doctors to consider go to the web and “google” the doctor. You should be able to find information about the doctor’s educational and training background. Look at the research that the doctor has published and look to see how often other researchers have cited their work. Don’t automatically eliminate the name of a physician if they are not well published, not all doctors are also researche