“I want you to get a second opinion but not from another neurologist. You need to go to where they know what they are doing because they see people with Parkinson’s Disease every day. I’ll be here if you need me but I will defer your medical treatment to a movement disorders specialist.”
These words from the neurologist that diagnosed me with PD have come back time and again as an advocate for seeking the best quality medical care available to allow people to have the best quality of life possible. Needless to say, the respect I had for that gentleman grew exponentially because of his unselfishness. He was not counting patients to build up his practice nor was he wanting to publicly display how much he knew about PD. He knew his limitations.
“What can a specialist do that my local neurologist isn’t doing already.”
This response from a 50 year old gentleman with a counter full of the biggest prescription bottles available, as he took pill after pill to try to control his tremors.
Many of us within the PD community have heard the countless horror stories about having to see doctor after doctor because no one could figure out what was wrong with them. Whether the doctor was reluctant to diagnose PD because of being “too young” or a primary care physician or even a neurologist that is reluctant to say that he/she doesn’t know about this disease but will alter a person’s life and well-being because they insist on increasing dosages of Sinemet rather than defering to an expert.
Yes, I will agree wholeheartedly that a neurologist is a specialist but not to the extent that a movement disorders specialist is in regards to advanced training in working with people like us whom live with this disease day in and day out.
Does a Movement Disorders Specialist (MDS) reaally make a difference? I would answer with an emphatic yes.
I attribute the quality of life that I am able to have now to my MDS because we are able to work together to use the least amount of medication necessary to provide the greatest amount of relief from symptoms.
As the world of medicine continues to evolve in regards to specialties, the one area that is worth seeking for a person having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease or any other movement disorder, is the Movement Disorders Specialist.
The best quality of life possible starts with having the best quality medical care available.