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I have a 'Dream Team' headed up by my Surgeon and PCP. ALL of my Specialists must report to my Surgeon who will in turn talk with my PCP and me for our input. We developed this system in 2005 post Whipple when the Gastroenterologist I had 'forgot' my Bile Duct was removed during the Whipple and insisted that I schedule an appointment for a stent replacement with him -- he's no longer MY Gastroenterologist! Further, this streamlines coordination of information and I no longer have to worry that something has been overlooked or I get confused understanding what these Specialists are trying to say to me. I had to also request that my Neurologist, OB/GYN and Hand Specialist adhere to this system as I DID need to worry about interactions between meds.
I have other health issues -- Cervical Myelopathy which landed me in a wheelchair only two weeks prior to my PC dx, Endometriosis managed by my OB/GYN and a double whammy: Dupuytren's Contracture/Arthritis, which was being taken care of by my Hand Specialist (who has since been replaced by a very intelligent Rheumatologist). These docs, in addition to a Surgeon, PCP, Gastroenterologist, Endocrinologist, Vascular Specialist, Cardiologist, Oncologist and Pain Management Specialist...yes, I'm a mess and only a few days after returning home from the Whipple, I was bombarded with phone calls from ALL of these docs checking on me. Additionally, it has helped tremendously with all of the visits to the E.R. E.R. docs see 'Pancreatic Cancer' on my chart and have been known to give me that 'Deer in headlights, frozen stare' until they read further and realize that whenever I appear, they must immediately call my Surgeon, at which point they breathe a sigh of relief.
My advice to everyone here is to try to get one RESPONSIBLE doc to coordinate
and lead your own 'Dream Team'. You have way too much to worry about; and
anytime you can get a truly caring doc in your corner, who is willing to
explain everything in English and gets YOUR input, you've scored big time!
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