You don’t just want a doctor, you want the best doctor. You’re not just looking for a neurologist in NYC, you’re looking for the best neurologist in NYC. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there are plenty of great neurologists out there. When you’re looking for the best neurologist or any doctor for that matter, objective training and experience are important — but it’s really more about finding the doc who is best for you.
Many people think of healthcare as prescriptive. In other words, you walk into your doctor’s office, they run a few tests, they tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it, and you go home and follow those instructions. For simple, routine ailments, this works. If you go to your primary care physician showing signs of a strep throat, they’ll diagnose you and prescribe an antibiotic — and your recovery really hinges on you taking that antibiotic as prescribed. There’s not much room for discussion or debate. When it comes to more complex neurological conditions like migraines, though, healthcare has to be more flexible.
Every patient’s symptoms are a bit different. Every patient’s lifestyle is a bit different. Some medications and remedies may work well for one patient, but not for another. As such, taking a prescriptive approach to healthcare doesn’t work as well with these more complex conditions. It’s better, in this case, to think of healthcare as a decision-making process between the doctor and their patient.
The best neurologist will take the time to discuss your lifestyle and symptoms with you. They’ll really take the time to get to know you as a patient, not just as a list of symptoms. While they will certainly prescribe and recommend various treatments for your condition, they’ll talk with you about those treatments, their pros and cons, and how they might work into your lifestyle. You’ll get the sense that you and your doctor are figuring this out as a team.
Let’s talk a little more about this collaborative approach to care and what it should feel like. When you find the best neurologist, you should be able to understand them. They’ll explain everything in a way that makes sense to you, and if something is unclear, you should feel comfortable asking questions. All in all, you should end the appointment with a true understanding of what’s wrong and how you can manage it. You may not find all the answers in one appointment, but you should feel you’ve made significant progress towards that goal.
You should always know that your doctor is listening to you and taking your concerns seriously. If you explain that a certain treatment is difficult for you to adhere to, the best doctors will empathize, offer some advice, and help you explore other treatments that may be more suitable. Here’s the thing: this ability to connect with patients is often something that comes from a doctor’s own life experience. As a migraine sufferer myself, I truly understand what my migraine patients are dealing with, how it impacts their life, and how finding the right treatment can be an ongoing process.
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