Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #19: The Match Game

Though there are 37 million Migraineurs, there are only 290 headache specialists! No wonder there are so many people that suffer from Migraine or other headache disorders that never get a diagnosis, or are misdiagnosed.

But, even with that few headache specialists, you can't just throw a doctor and a patient together and expect a great match. As with any relationship, the relationship between a health care professional and a patient is more complex than any list can capture. But, there are some characteristics that you can look for, when setting out to find your perfect match.

That being said, the perfect doctor to treat my Migraines would be (in no specific order):
- A excellent listener
- Competent / medical expertise (well-versed in Migraine and other headache disorders) - able to admit when they don't know something, and resourceful enough to find the right answer for their patient
- Observant
- Open to all kinds of treatment
- A great problem-solver
- Confident (but not hubris)
- Empathetic - understand the patient's needs as a whole person
- Humane - caring, compassionate, and kind
- Forthright - straightforward and honest
- Respectful - take the patient's input seriously, work with the patient, ethical in practice
- Thorough - conscientious and persistent
- Educated - willing to continually learn and stay up-to-date on current research in the field; willing to help provide the patient with the tools to help him/herself - be a partner in the patient's care
- Possess fortitude - an unshakable sense of hope; mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty and adversity courageously; resolute endurance
I actually am blessed enough to have a doctor that possesses many (perhaps all?) of these characteristics. He's running out of treatments to try, but he's always open to anything that I bring to him, and he's willing to try new and different things to try to improve my quality of life with chronic Migraines. I truly hope that he and I can continue our partnership, and find something that helps me to live the best life possible (even if the chronic Migraines continue).

This post was written as part of the Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenege (MAMBC), which is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com and the National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation (NHF).


  1. I like your checklist a lot. My Neuro has some of those qualities, but I don't feel he goes anywhere to find an answer when he doesn't have one. Have you been through a ton of Neuros?

    1. Thanks, Heather. I actually haven't been through a ton of Neuros. I'm actually only on my second one (I've been with my current doc for 3 years).


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