A man with psoriasis apprehensively looking at an examination table and doctor who sits scratching his head in confusion

Dreading An Upcoming Doctor Appointment

Last updated: December 2022

What is it about doctor's appointments? I guess no one really looks forward to going to the doctor. This is especially true for those who live with psoriasis. It can be hard to find a doctor or dermatologist we trust. We usually feel rushed or disappointed leaving the appointment.

Why can't I find a good doctor to treat my psoriasis?

I am no different. I have had very few good doctors when it comes to managing my psoriasis and finding treatment. In fact, I haven't found the right one just yet.

With my current health insurance, I am really stuck between a rock and a hard place. Now every time I have to go for an appointment, I dread it more and more.

A few years ago, I was excited to hear our governor had signed into law the Medicaid Expansion. It made me eligible to receive it. I thought this was wonderful when it came to treating my psoriasis. I could finally go see any dermatologist to treat my psoriasis.

Finding a doctor that accepts my insurance

Boy, was I wrong, and in a very dramatic way. What I didn't know is that there is no local dermatologist in my area that accepts Medicaid. Sounds crazy, right? I wish it was. How's this for sounding crazy? There is not a private dermatologist or rheumatologist in the entire State of Louisiana that accepts Medicaid.

I bet you think that is a typo, right? How could there be none in the entire state? I had to overlook someone, right? Wrong. The National Psoriasis Foundation has a Center that helps with insurance problems. It is called The Patient Navigation Center.

It was no surprise to me when the person called back to say there was not one private dermatologist or rheumatologist in the entire state that would accept it.

Showing my skin at a teaching hospital

Back when my psoriasis journey first started, I didn't have insurance. That was 17 years ago. My only option for healthcare was at a low-income hospital. I only had the option of seeing general doctors because they did not have a dermatologist or rheumatologist on staff.

I hated going there. Fast forward all these years later, and this time having insurance, I find myself having to go back there. To my surprise my first visit, they do actually have rheumatologists on staff.

The problem with that? Well, you see a rheumatologist doctor after a student doctor has come in to see you first because it is a teaching hospital.

I am dreading my next appointment!

I have seen three student doctors come and go. Each time, the new one that comes in seems to be worse than the one before. The last one tried to say I didn't have psoriasis at all; instead, I had vitiligo. She was insistent even when I showed her my active psoriasis patches.

I demanded she get her supervisor, who, by the way, confirmed my psoriasis. Now next week, I have an upcoming appointment. I will not know until I walk into the room if it is someone new I have to deal with.

All I can say is wish me luck because, at this point, I feel like I really need it.

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