The Importance of Finding a Patient-First Spine Specialist

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Neck Pain Elderly Woman

If you’ve ever needed to visit a specialist for a health condition, you know the process can be a bit unnerving simply because you may not have much experience finding someone who is a good fit for your situation. You may look at online reviews or crowdsource information from family or friends, but how can you know you’ve found the right specialist for you?

There’s no perfect way to answer that question, but many people find that choosing a specialist who puts their needs and goals first is a step in the right direction. But what does it mean to be a patient-first provider, and how can you find one for your back pain? We look at what it means to be a patient-first provider in today’s blog.

Find A Specialist Who Puts Their Patients First

All providers like to think that they are a patient-first provider, but striving to provide a high level of care for their patients isn’t the only way to put your patients first. Here are some of the qualities that suggest a prospective spine specialist puts their patient’s needs first.

  • They Listen – It can be easy for doctors to do most of the talking during an initial consultation or a follow-up visit, but these appointments need to involve back and forth conversation in order for both parties to get the most out of it. Your doctor may know more about the inner workings of the spine, but you know more than they do about your symptoms, your daily habits and what actions make your discomfort subside or intensify. A patient-first provider will really listen to you as you describe your symptoms so that they can get a true sense of how it’s bothering you.
  • They Give You Options – Now, you may not have countless different treatment techniques at your disposal, but odds are there’s more than one way to attack your condition, and a patient-first provider will walk you through all your options. Even if they think they know what might work best for a patient, they should explain the different options available to them. They can certainly share their professional opinion or explain how they would treat the problem if they were in your shoes, but a great provider will lay out all your options so that you can make the most informed choice for your health.
  • They’ll Require A Lot Of You – In many instances, you get out what you put in when it comes to treating your health condition, so a patient-first provider is going to ask a lot from their patients. Being told that you need to complete your daily physical therapy exercises or work to improve your dietary or exercise habits may not be what you want to hear, but if it’s going to yield the best results, these are things a patient needs to hear. A provider who doesn’t hold the patient accountable isn’t doing right by them.
  • They Know What’s Worked, But They Don’t Assume It Will Always Work Again – A patient-first provider has a wealth of experience treating patients and helping them overcome their condition, but that doesn’t mean they automatically assume what worked for one patient will work for the next. Two patients who present with herniated spinal discs may require vastly different treatment plans, so the doctor can’t just rely on one-size-fits-all solutions. They can use their knowledge of past success to help guide their recommendations, but they’ll never assume that it will always work in the future, because each patient is different.
  • They Give You The Tools To Succeed – Finally, while you may lean on a professional to help overcome a back issue, a patient-first provider will also give you the tools you need to prevent and treat future problems. They’ll educate you on why a condition developed, what you can do to treat it and what changes you can make to ensure it doesn’t come back in the future. We don’t want you coming back every six months for care, because we want to provide you with the tools to help you rid you of your spinal discomfort once and for all.

To learn more about how we put our patients first, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today.

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