Have You Outgrown Your Doctor?

Is she over-40 friendly?

by Peg Rosen

Consider her attitude toward aging
If she dismisses complaints such as fatigue as an inevitable result of aging, run in the other direction, says Christiane Northrup, MD, author of The Wisdom of Menopause. “You need a doctor who makes you feel confident that your health can be good,” she says.

Do you see yourself in his patients?
“The right doctor understands your concerns and has enough patients in your demographic to be on top of the
issues,” says Mindy Goldman, MD, with the University of California, San Francisco.

Is she inspiring?
“Ask yourself, ‘Does this person look like she walks the walk? Is she a vibrant 50-year-old, or does she look burned out and apathetic?’ ” Northrup says.

Does he answer your questions?
Smart decision making requires a collaboration between an inquisitive, informed patient and a doctor who is willing and able to provide clear answers. Some MDs share their e-mail addresses; ask if this is an option.

Is your gyno still your go-to doc?
Consider also consulting an internist, who can address broader issues relating to preventive care. An internist should counsel you on living a healthy lifestyle, encourage checkups and have a network of specialists to recommend, says Larisa Connors, MD, of Harvard Medical School, in Boston. If you have medical conditions (or a strong risk profile), look for an MD with a subspecialty that relates to your problem, such as gastroenterology. (Go to more.com/md to locate one.)

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