maybe considering searching the Internet in hopes of finding a more qualified specialist who can effectively treat your constant muscle and joint pain.
It’s easy to misrepresent oneself over the Internet. For this reason, you should use discretion and discernment in choosing a credible practitioner. Doing a Google search, you can learn a great deal; including how much education and training the doctor has completed, if they have conducted research, if they are innovators in their field, if they have published, if they have taught and if they are best suited to address your specific healthcare needs.
To ascertain a doctor’s credibility and qualifications, seek answers to these questions:
Is the doctor’s school legitimate?
Do a Google search on the school’s name. Find out how many years the school has been in operation and what certification it holds to grant it the right to award the diploma. Is it a legitimate school (where you must attend classes, pass tests, etc, in order to earn a degree), or a ‘mill factory’ (a website that mails out diplomas for a fee, without any work being done to earn the degree)?
Is the doctor’s diploma valid?
Diplomas can be faked, but a listing at the school for the years attended and the degree awarded cannot. Many universities have a list of their graduates, year by year. Go to the website of the particular university and look for the ‘search’ service on the home page. Or, send an email to the administration and ask if the doctor in question has received a diploma from this university and what was the degree received.
“I studied under so and so’”- This declaration implies formal training from an accomplished, well known professional (when in fact, little or none may have been done).
If a doctor studied under ‘so and so’, look for verification of formal study. This encompasses a prolonged period of training (not a weekend seminar), examinations and sometimes, case study presentations. Completion of formal training is affirmed by a diploma with the signature of the professor and the length and level of the training.
What is the degree of the doctor’s expertise?
In order to become a doctor, one must have graduated from medical school, followed by one to five years of clinical/hospital training.
In order to gain a higher level of expertise in their specialty, the doctor must apply for board certification. This requires submission of a number of patient case histories, publishing in peer-reviewed medical journals and passing comprehensive board exams. The title of ‘Fellow’ or ‘Diplomate’ is then awarded.
Another higher level of expertise is accomplished by earning a Ph.D. degree. This requires doing original research; approved by a university, successfully defended in front of their peer Ph.D. board and having the research published. The title of Professor is typically given to those who hold a Ph.D. degree and have taught at a university or medical school.
Is the length of their training sufficient to practice their therapy?
Doctors have gone to the university to learn a specific medical discipline. But sometimes they expand beyond their original training and offer other services. This is often the case in chronic pain management. For example, one may be a chiropractor, but they may also use insole therapy or acupuncture.
If you are being treated by a doctor’s auxiliary therapy, it’s important to know if the amount of training received was sufficient to successfully use that therapy. Courses may also be taught in parts or levels – be sure the doctor has completed the entire training, as evidenced on the diploma(s).
Weekend workshops can only provide an introduction to a given subject. Certificates given for attending a weekend workshop have little or no value for indicating a doctor’s expertise.
A picture of a wall full of diplomas can look impressive. However, if some of these diplomas have little or nothing to do with the doctor’s training, specialty, level of expertise, or are merely for attending weekend workshops, then the question you should ask is – Why are these diplomas on the wall? Two possible explanations might be 1) To impress you or 2) To cover up the cracks.
Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a multifaceted problem and requires the expertise of a highly trained professional. It is crucial to find someone who can really do what they say they can. Choosing the appropriate doctor is the first (and most vital) step towards permanently eliminating your chronic pain.
InPart 2, you will learn how to search a little deeper in order to find an innovative, recognized expert who has the ability to effectively treat your constant muscle and joint pain.
Like most chronic pain sufferers, you may have found your doctor(s) from preferred providers covered by your insurance company, friend and family referrals or simply by scanning your neighborhood phone book.
But if you have not found permanent pain relief after seeing countless practitioners in your area, you (like many others)
How To Find A Credible And Qualified Doctor On The Internet – Part 1