I recently met a gentleman at barbecue who lives part time in Florida and part time in Thailand. He has no health insurance in the United States because premiums are prohibitively expensive, so he gets almost all medical care in Thailand. Our conversation turned to finding the right doctor … hard enough to do in a country where you speak the language fluently, but even harder in a place where you have no connections and a language barrier that is challenging to overcome.
Almost every day I am asked to refer a newly-diagnosed cancer patient to “the best” surgeon, oncologist, or radiation center. Often I am tempted to ask the patient exactly what they mean by the “best” doctor, but I see the imploring look in their eyes and interpret that to mean they trust me to lead them in the right direction. Little do they know that there is no such thing as “the best” oncologist, cancer surgeon or radiation center. There are many excellent doctors, and trying to match the patient to the doctor is possibly more important than merely identifying a doctor as “the best.”
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Dr. Melanie Bone is a cancer survivor and gynecologist who practices in West Palm Beach. Have a question?Email email@example.com. Any questions submitted to Dr. Bone will be considered for her column.