and how to find a good one


and how to find a good one

We certainly understand how difficult it can be to find a doctor that you feel understands you and listens to you, let alone is capable of treating a very rare disease. But please believe us when we say that there are countless doctors out there who are fully ready and willing to provide you with the best medical care possible! After all, the principles of good medicine are the same whether you’re treating a cold, cancer, or Dercum’s Disease.

In this section we’ll do our best to help provide basic advice about how to find the best doctor possible to help steer you through the diagnostic process and perhaps ultimately help you achieve the best quality of life as a Dercum’s patient.

We’ll start with the best advice we can possibly offer.

If not an expert, how do I find a good doctor?

Find a Doctor this happy to learn (photo of a smiling kid on Christmas)
A happy doctor

A naturally inquisitive doctor is more likely to be equally inquisitive about tracking down the underlying cause of your illness

In our experience, the best doctors on the planet are those that are so excited to learn things new that they look like a kid on Christmas morning. Their curiosity drives them. That curiosity is more often than not paired with a deep passion for improving the lives of others. Those two traits tend to propel medical students to the tops of their class and doctors to the top of their field. The glee of learning new things is an instantly recognizable sign of a compassionate, patient-centered doctor.

How do you look for it? Easy. Visit our Articles section and print out at least one of the modern articles listed there. We recommend the first one listed, as it’s the most complete introduction to Dercum’s Disease. Take a copy of that article with you to every doctor’s appointment. When you meet a new doctor – with a great deal of kindness, patience, and humility on your part – politely ask them if they might be interested in reading a medical journal article about a rare disease you’d heard about and causes you some concern. Be sure to include the words “medical journal article” – that will show them that you share a mutual respect for medical science and the peer review process. That’s very important! It’s a sign to them that the information is verified and can be trusted for its safety and efficacy.

If the doctor’s face instantly lights up and they’re eager to read it, you’ll know you’ve found a gem of a doctor. If they show a smile and accept the opportunity, you’ll know they’re a good doctor.

Alternatively, if they react with an attitude that they know everything there is to know, then that doctor probably isn’t the one for you. A true scientist keeps an open mind, allowing them to constantly challenge themselves. That open mind also tends to lend itself toward a more willing listener and a more empathetic heart. All good traits we all want to find in our doctors.

If you’ve found that eagerness of a kid on Christmas, you’ve found the perfect partner in your medical care. Soon enough both of you will be the best expert you could ever ask for – an expert in you.

Photo of adorable little boy above by Gary Simmons. Thanks for sharing your work through Creative Commons!

Additional Advice

Additional Advice

  • Look for local magazines/newspapers. Many will do a yearly list of highly recommended doctors.
  • Know a specialist or pharmacist you already like? Ask them for a referral!
  • If you have any friends in the area who also have complicated health issues – even if they’re totally different than yours – ask them for referrals too.
  • If you live anywhere near a university with a hospital, call them. University hospitals frequently attract doctors who tend to be interested in learning new things & more often see unusual cases.

Good luck & happy doctor hunting!


Get additional information about the kinds of specialists your primary care provider might send you to during the diagnostic process for Dercum’s Disease.