Steps to find a Pain Doctor
I was recently in a very scary predicament finding a treating pain doctor, and was turned away by multiple physicians. Chronic pain patients, especially those of us labeled “complex” are struggling to find care in the current climate.
I can attest that it’s a terrifying situation to be placed in, and no sick person in need of care should be denied treatment.
**Every pain patient being prescribed opioids should become familiar with the CDC’s guidelines which are available to read here.
If you are struggling to find a pain management doctor, first know that you are not alone in this desperate situation.
Here are some of the steps I took that might help you on your search:
1. Request your records
2. Ask for 3 referrals from your former pain doctor or GP
3. Let all of your other doctors know you are without a treating pain doctor/meds in case they can help treat you temporarily while you search, or refer you out
4. Contact your insurance company for a list of area doctors
5. Contact RSDS.org for a list of area RSD doctors. (They will always email you back)
6. Submit new patient forms online to the doctors on your list, call the doctors, call them back again.
7. Expand your search to further away from home
8. Consider contacting Palliative Care (care for mostly homebound or bedbound individuals)
9. Call your insurance company and ask for the nurse care rep or social worker rep for help finding a doctor
10. If you have a physical therapist, let them know your predicament and ask if they can set you up with a medical social worker, or see if they have a referral
If all of the above fail….
11. Contact a state representative and tell your story
12. Contact local media to share your story
13. Contact legal aid.
14. Do not give up!