Finding a Good Migraine Specialist

Finding a migraine specialist can be a challenge, but it really is very important if migraine has a significant impact on your life.  If you or someone that you know suffers from migraine attacks, you already know that it is something that can require medical care, whether it comes in the form of looking for good preventative medications or medications that can take care of it after the migraine chain reaction has already started.  Then, of course, there are the many non-drug treatments that are available today.

Finding a migraine specialist

When you are looking for the migraine specialist that will help you get through this difficult condition, there are a definitely a few things that you should keep in mind.  There truth of the matter is that there are both good and bad doctors out there, and that in some ways, medicine is as much an art as it is science.  Finding a specialist that you really click with and who will give your problem the respect it deserves is essential.

You should also know that a specialist in migraine is often going to be a neurologist.  Or, you may end up going to a headache clinic or pain clinic with a number of specialists working together.  Here are some tips for finding a good pain clinic.

Does your specialist listen?

When you are looking for a good migraine specialist, you'll find that the first thing that you need to consider is how well they treat you.  When you go into their office, do they ask questions about your condition, and then allow you to answer them?  Be wary of a specialist who will ask you questions and then answer them themselves.

Also beware of doctors who diagnose you before you have said very much at all.  Doctors who are in a hurry and who do not seem to be invested in your problem are not going to offer you the help that they need.

Migraine disease is complex, and it's often intertwined with other conditions.  A migraine specialist needs to understand your medical history, your symptoms, and how much migraine impacts your life.

Online resources

The second thing that you need to do when you are looking for a good migraine specialist is that you should get online. 

Migraine Specialists Worldwide
You may or may not already be aware of the fact that there is a large community of people online who suffer from migraine and that there are a number of resources available to you.  You can make contact with good specialists in your area and going in armed with a personal recommendation will tend to ensure you a better experience.

If you have had a negative experience with a specialist, make sure that you seek out information about them and figure out what other issues people have had.

Some excellent resources to get you started in your search:

Your job

To get a good migraine specialist, remember that you are going to need to be a perceptive and discerning patient.  Do not take everything that your migraine specialist has to say as law.  The truth is that doctors make mistakes too, and vigilance is an important part of getting through that.

When you are prescribed medication, make sure that you look it up online and when you have symptoms that don't seem to correspond to the diagnosis, make sure that you do your own research.  It is important to take a pro-active stance when it comes to your health and your migraine care, so always do independent research on your condition.

Make sure that you are getting the best care that you can.  It is perfectly all right to ask your doctor for further information or to seek out a second opinion.  You never know when one specialist is going to be able to offer you help that another specialist simply was not aware of.

We've talked about tips for talking with (and interviewing) your specialist before.  Check out the HeadWay article Are you a frustrated patient?

An excellent resource showing you how to build your own "medical team" is What's Wrong with Me? by Lynn M Dannheisser and Dr Jerry M Rosenbaum.  Building a team is usually very important in migraine treatment, because most often it takes more than one specialist to track down various aspects of your treatment.

Resources close by

It's so important to be informed about your own treatment.  This site is here to help get you to clear, accurate information about migraine and other headaches.  Be sure to look around for the info you need!

For news and tips delivered right to your inbox, try the free ezine HeadWay, which has been helping patients find answers since 2003.

Finally, for the latest tips, resources and news from around the world, check out the Headache and Migraine News Blog.

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