With so much new information being published almost daily in the field of rheumatology, it would be nearly impossible for all rheumatologists to be up on all of the latest treatment approaches at all times. That is why it is important to be careful in selecting a rheumatologist to treat your spondylitis. Since most people with spondylitis would want to find someone who has the best training and a deep knowledge of spondylitis, the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) would like to help.
SAA receives no government funding and relies on the
generous donations from individuals to create and maintain the programs and
services aimed at improving the futures of the 2.7 million Americans affected
In some managed care plans, you will be limited to choosing from only certain doctors; in other plans, some doctors may be 'preferred' which means they belong to a network. Ask your plan administrator for a list of providers and any other additional information that might help you in choosing.
Remember that even if you are with a doctor in a plan who doesn't seem to know too much about ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or related diseases, he or she might welcome the chance to refer you to a colleague in the plan who has a special interest in this type of arthritis.
SAA has compiled a patient-to-patient recommended directory of rheumatologists.
View the Rheumatologist Directory
Your doctor is working for you. You and your doctor should function like a team!
Verify a doctor's credentials at the American Board of Medical Specialties website. The site will provide you with information about the physician’s primary practice, subspecialty, and board certification.
Once you've narrowed down your search to a short list of doctors, you may want to set up a "get acquainted" appointment, and inquire whether that appointment would be fee-based. Call the front desk to find out if the doctor is accepting new patients and if a referral is necessary. This might be the best time to ask approximately how many spondylitis patients are seen annually.
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