• How do you know if you have good doctors? Should I have a *caseworker*? Should they direct me to local support groups?

    Asked by MaggiesPlace on Sunday, January 22, 2012

    How do you know if you have good doctors? Should I have a *caseworker*? Should they direct me to local support groups?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I was referred to my oncologist by my primary care physician and to a surgeon and radiologist by my oncologist. I am pleased with all of them. I don't have a caseworker and not sure what I would use one for. You can find local support groups by googling.

      over 9 years ago
    • bcwarrioragain's Avatar

      Maggie- It sounds like you might not be happy with your care team. If that is the case you should look into a new team, and if you decide to change then go for it. Sometimes we forget we are hiring the doctors, nurses, radiologist etc. to perform a service. Be sure you have hired the right team.
      Use some logic to determine if you should change.
      Ask: Are they addressing my needs and concerns? Do they use treatments that make sense? Do the treatments follow the standards I read about on the internet? If not, maybe they have a good reason- have they explained it to me so I understand.
      But in the end, you have to have the right connection. If you don't feel like you have placed your life in the hands of someone you trust then you don't have a fit. Notice I say trust. You must trust, but they don't have to be the kind of people you would hang out with on the weekend. You aren't looking for friends, you are hiring professionals.
      I am also unclear with the term "Case Manager". Is this someone from the Dr office? Is it someone assigned to you by your insurance?
      To find a support group talk with the other patients during infusion treatment, if you have that. But, better yet, contact the American Cancer Society. They are like the cruise directors of cancer. They will help you connect with the resources you need. They are a central point where support groups (and other resources) can make information available and patients can find that information.

      over 9 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      I am a Kaiser member and I was referred to the oncology department at Kaiser San Jose Medical Center. The doctor I was referred to was not available so I saw another. I will never know the diffrence but I feel I received the best care possible from my onc. I also received an appointment to my gyn/onc. I don't know how many others there are but I feel mine is the cream of the crop. I was diagnosed with Stage IIIc ovarian cancer and after seven months of treatment was pronounced NED. I believe I am alive today because of my medical team.

      There was a time when I felt so ill I wanted to have someone looking out for me so I contacted a social worker or actually my cousin called for me and left a message. I didn't get a call back for a while and then another social worker called but by that time I felt ok. I meant to mention to someone at Kaiser about the long delay in getting back to me but having worked for a social services agency I understand how very busy everyone is.

      I still think it is a good idea to have someone who will look out for your interests when maybe the task is overwhelming for you and your family.

      over 9 years ago
    • PinkD's Avatar

      I had a case manager with my insurance company. She was pretty helpful in helping me sort out all that stuff. The cancer center had a patient navigator who I ended up not really needing but I think would have been helpful had I run into trouble.

      over 9 years ago
    • Karen4's Avatar

      If you have to ask, then you aren't sure and may want a second opinion (or a third or fourth). Many insurance companies have caseworkers, especially for cancer patients, so you may want to consult them. If you have friends who are breast cancer survivors, you may want to ask them about their care teams. I find personal referral to be the BEST information. I also highly encourage you to become a member of LIVESTRONG. They have a couple of books they will send you for free. They not only help you plan your cancer journey, but give you ideas of things to ask and places to keep your medical papers. Many times, your treatment facility has patient advocates that are there to assist you and discuss any issues that concern you. However, I think you need to get a second opinion and determine from there which care team you trust and best suits your needs as the patient. NEVER SETTLE!! If it doesn't feel right, then find something that does. This fight is too important to trust your treatment to someone you aren't sure of!

      Good luck and God bless you!

      over 9 years ago

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