How to choose the best

This past week I turned thirty! It was a great week. To celebrate my aging, maturity and life I read a self help book on how to be awesome. If you want the deats on the book follow this link .One of my favorite ideas in the book was that as children we are not embarrassed, ashamed or nervous to learn new things. Somewhere along the way we learn behaviors of shame when we don’t know something. When you learn to ride a bike as a child it is so joyful and exciting but then as an adult some  people may be embarrassed that they don’t know how to ride a bike and that feeling keeps them from ever learning even if they really want to ride a bike. The idea was to never lose the joy of learning something new. Be an expert. Practice and practice your passion to be awesome but never stop having fun doing it. It made me start thinking about learning dermatology. I will never stop learning and I love that but my patients expect me to be the know all. I totally get it because that’s what I expect from my providers. When patients come to me, they expect me to have the answers from the skin gods and the magic wand to fix them. I want to have the answers so it stinks when you can’t give them to patients. I feel like Johnson Dermatology has the skin experts of the River Valley but we all just recently  learned about a new drug called Mirvaso. There are things experts don’t know until they learn those things. Medicine is a constantly growing realm of knowledge. So how then do you, the patient, pick which expert to trust with your skin? What if you pick an expert and they haven’t yet learned about something that would cure your ailment? What if you pick one that has lost their joy in learning? What tools do you use to pick the best? Because we all deserve the best healthcare, right? I have worked in a hospital or clinic in the healthcare field for 14 years and I feel like I have learned the difference between a good healthcare provider and the best healthcare provider. So here are my tips to assist you in deciding who takes care of you and your family.


  1. Word of mouth-This is the top of my list. When you pick who is going to perform your knee surgery ask other people who have had knee surgery how theirs went and who performed it. When you pick who does your Juvederm or Radiesse injections, it is okay to ask for pictures or to see other people whom the provider has injected. Don’t just go by the picture on the products website. Always take recommendations with a grain of salt though, please.
  2. Specialty Experts-See the right expert in a specific specialty. I learned how to manage cholesterol when I was in school and according to my degree, I could see a patient and tell him or her how to manage cholesterol but over the years, I have not used that knowledge and as you know, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Please don’t ask me to manage your cholesterol. Even though legally speaking I could do it, heck if it was a basic problem I might even be capable of doing it but it’s not my area of expertise.  It’s totally legit to ask your provider if the procedure they are doing is what they excel at doing. For example: In our office Dr. Brad is the surgery expert and Dr. Sandy is the laser expert. You won’t catch Dr. Brad with laser patients on his schedule and you won’t catch Dr. Sandy with surgeries on her schedule. Even though they are both capable, they have different areas of expertise in the specialty of dermatology. FYI-It doesn’t offend us when you ask. Just like we want to brag on what we are experts at, we also like to tell you when we don’t feel comfortable doing something you are asking us to do.
  3. Education- Your healthcare provider should have some credentials. Choose board certified folks. That shows that they care about their credentials, education and professional development. Continuing education is important too. I go to dermatology conferences and extra training often and I even do a monthly book review club with my peers. If you call for an appointment with your health care provider but she is out of town for a conference and you can’t get in that week, it’s a good thing. Ask for an appointment the following week. Chances are you found a good one.
  4. Happiness- Does your healthcare provider enjoy his/her job? When you go to the dentist, does he/she complain about what a day it’s been or get excited talking the whole visit about a new tooth implant that is awesome? If it’s the latter, that’s what you’re looking for. You may not really care about the latest and greatest in fake teeth but you should be glad that your dentist is excited about his/her profession. Sometimes I get giddy at work. I grin and giggle a little bit over getting to witness weird once in a life time rashes or surgical repairs that are complex or injecting a woman who cries because she is so happy with her results. I literally have to jump up and down sometimes at work. Find someone that loves to take care of you.
  5. You need the “click”- You have your friends because you like them. You should like your healthcare provider as well. Pick someone whom you like to be around, whom you trust, whom you feel comfortable asking why your feet stink. Also make sure you “click” with the office staff. Often times your communication is through the nurse or the front office staff or the insurance gal. You will likely, at some point, have to deal with all different areas of the practice so pay attention to the vibe in the office. Pick a place that is on the same frequency as you. Be able to say “these are my kind of people”.
  6. Pick the “can’t do it all” person- Sometimes you want your healthcare provider to say “I don’t know”. It shows that they know their limitations and won’t just “give it a whirl” on you. And if they are at the end of a rope and have already had you see multiple specialist, then maybe they will try something off the books and it will work but at least you will know they are exhausting all their resources just to help you.
  7. Intuition-Don’t go by my rules. Don’t go with your rules. Just use your gut. I call it my spidey-sense. Your inner self knows who will take care of you and who won’t care one way or the other about you so follow your heart, as they say.


I hope these tips help you with your search for someone to care for your health. These tips are all just my opinion and I appreciate you all following my blog and listening to my opinions, it’s an honor. Stay skintastic! See you in cyber world next week. Until then, follow me on twitter @skinnyonskingal for quick, fun skin tweets.





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