Finding the right provider to manage your food allergies (in my mind at least) is a close equivalent to making sure you’re in the right relationship. Many times food allergies can be a long journey, and a certain level of trust is required to feel as if the match is a good one.
Part of the reason I felt compelled to write this blog post is because we feel very lucky to have found a great provider for our food-allergic child. He has a great bedside manner with our little one, brings scientific data/studies to the table when appropriate, and challenges us to think about approaches we may take for her long-term benefit. And we really, really trust him.
I think we’ve all been there, started seeing a provider simply because they were referred by someone else who likes them and they happen to accept our insurance. And sometimes this works out great! Though other times not so much.
In the spirit of helping you find an allergist (or other specialist as appropriate) to help you manage your food-based issues, I’ve created a short list of things to consider when deciding if a provider is right for you/your family:
1) Do you feel their approach/style meshes well with your personality?
Whether you’re dating or seeing your doctor, chemistry is important!
2) Do you feel they take an appropriate amount of time to understand your full picture?
Ensuring they have all the facts to help you on your journey is imperative. So not only do you have to pull your weight and share all relevant information, they’ve got to consider all sides.
3) Do they provide clear answers that help you to better manage your allergies outside of their clinic?
Feeling like you have the confidence to manage your allergies once outside of your doctor’s office is important. And if you’d benefit from an additional layer of support, you can always call me at Food Allergy Partners:)
4) Do they recommend a level of testing that you feel comfortable with?
Do you feel “analysis paralysis” so to speak or do you feel not enough digging has been done to get to the root of your issues? It’s important to work closely with your doctor to achieve the goals set out, while also meeting your comfort zone.
5) Do they seem to be engaged within their industry? Example: boned up on the latest clinical data, attending conferences to continually refine their craft, etc.
Ensuring your provider continually engages in their specialty is important. I personally love knowing that our doctor is all over the newest must-read clinical study!
6) Do you trust them?
Heard me say this a few times? Well, it’s a big one. Food allergy management can sometimes be a long road, and it’s important you trust the provider that’s walking the road with you. This road may involve allergic reactions, food challenges and more, so you’ve got to trust this “relationship" you’re in.
Let me know if you’d like to add any criteria to this list, as I’m sure there are lots more things that would be great to mention!
Until next time,