Torn photo of a doctor overlaid on a photo of a happier doctor.

Seeing Doctors about Psoriasis

Like many, I hate to see doctors. Having psoriasis means it is a given that you must see doctors all the time. Talk to most anyone with psoriasis about their doctor's visits over time will usually lead to many nightmarish stories. Mine is no different. I have had some really good doctors like the primary care doctor I have now. I have had some really bad primary care doctors as well. Same holds true for the rheumatologists I see. The first one was horrible. The one that I currently have is tolerable. I say tolerable because the one I had before her was nightmarish which puts me in an untrusting mindset with this new rheumatologist. So why do I share all this with you? I once spoke to a crowd about switching doctors if you are not comfortable with your current doctor. A doctor told the crowd not to jump to switching and definitely not write any kind of bad review about them.

A nightmare primary doctor

I got put on our State Medicaid program. Not knowing what I was doing I did not go in to assign a primary care doctor of my choosing. The people over at the Medicaid program assigned me a primary care doctor. I will say that I never had gone into a doctor's visit with expectations. I cannot say that now. This doctor changed that for me. Of course, the nurse did exactly what all nurses do in getting my information. I had no problem with that. When she finished she told me the doctor would come in shortly. Nothing new or surprising. After a few minutes, the doctor comes in. He starts going over all the medical issues that I had. I told him I have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It was causing a lot of pain in my lower back. His response to that: "I do not know anything about psoriatic arthritis but I can guarantee you if you would lose some weight your back would stop hurting." I was completely flabbergasted that he actually just said that to me. What made it worse was that he wanted to know if I wanted to meet with their nutritionist. Needless to say, I left and never returned to see him again.

A nightmare rheumatology doctor

Again with having Medicaid, it limited me to where I could see a rheumatologist. I see the rheumatologist at a teaching hospital. Nothing wrong with a teaching hospital except for the fact that it is usually an intern that you see before the attending rheumatologist comes in. My problem with the intern is I need to clarify a lot. She asked me to show her all the places that psoriasis patches had been on my body. I showed her the active patches that I still have on my ankles. No problem there. She could see that. I then proceeded to show her my arms. She looks at both arms. Without missing a beat, she says that she didn't believe the places I showed was where I had psoriasis at. She said I had vitiligo which is when you lose pigment out of your skin. Immediately I got irritated with her. My response was no and your not about to diagnose me with it either. My next question is whether she had ever heard the term hyperpigmentation. If not I suggested she go look it up on the computer. Yes, I was that abrupt about it. I volunteer with the National Psoriasis Foundation so I stay up on all the information about psoriasis.

Speaking your mind

Had I not known the term hyperpigmentation I could have been diagnosed with something that was not even true. I always tell anyone that will listen that if you do not feel comfortable with your current doctor then switch. I no longer see that primary care doctor or that rheumatologist. I did report that primary care doctor to Medicaid just because it was such an offensive thing to say. Never let anyone tell you that you can't switch doctors. You have that right. If your not sure of what doctors you can see you can always call your insurance company to assist you with that. No one should ever feel like they are not getting the best care possible.

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