When unusual medical symptoms develop, it is always better to see a specialist earlier rather than later. Take, for example, the signs and symptoms associated with a kidney disorder or disease, such as muscle cramps, urinating more or less, swelling of feet and ankles, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness, high blood pressure, and dry, itchy skin.
Seeing a nephrologist promptly can help you feel better and keep your kidneys as healthy and functional for as long as possible.So, how can you find the best nephrologist who’s right for you?
Follow these steps:
- Get referrals. Start with a list of nephrologists that have been recommended for you. These referrals can come from your primary care doctor. Also, you can ask other healthcare providers and/or family and friends for their recommendations.
- Check the nephrologist’s credentials. Focus on each doctor’s educational background and experience, which you can find online at Healthgrades.com or their own website. Make sure each doctor is board-certified, as this tells you that the doctor has the required training, skills, and experience to provide quality nephrological healthcare. Also, confirm that the doctor has no history of disciplinary actions or malpractice claims. Once you have narrowed down your list, call each doctor’s office to schedule a consultation, so you can meet and get to know them.
- Take patient reviews into consideration. Find out what other patients have to say about how the doctor practices medicine and how the practice is operated in terms of appointment scheduling, wait times, office environment, and staff friendliness. Learn how well patients trust the doctor, how much time is spent with patients, and how well the doctor answers questions.
- Consider the doctor’s experience. The greater a nephrologist’s experience in treating a condition or performing a procedure, the more likely your results will lead to a positive outcome. Ask the doctor how many patients with your specific condition they have treated. Also, ask how many procedures the doctor has performed and what were their complication rates – as well as your personal risk of complications.
- Assess the doctor’s communication style. You’ll want to choose a nephrologist with whom you feel comfortable talking with and who provides all the information you need. You want the doctor who welcomes questions and takes the time to answer them in ways you can understand. You also want a doctor who shows an interest in getting to know you, considers your treatment preferences, and respects your decision-making process.
- Research the quality of the hospital with which nephrologist is affiliated.Consider the facility’s quality of care, as patients who are treated at top-rated hospitals and dialysis centers have fewer complications and better survival rates. The hospital’s location is also important, especially if you require frequent tests, treatments, or follow-up visits. The more convenient its location, the more timely care you’ll receive.
- Check your insurance coverage.Your choice of a nephrologist may hinge on the benefits you receive from insurance and the least amount of out-of-pocket expense you’ll incur. Choose a doctor who participates in your insurance plan, while also considering their credentials, experience, outcomes, and their affiliated hospital’s quality when selecting a nephrologist.
Top-Quality Nephrologist in Syracuse, New York
The board-certified nephrologists at the Department of Medicine at SUNY: Upstate Medical University are experts in disorders and diseases affecting the kidneys, providing care to adult patients with chronic renal failure with top-of-the-line, comprehensive dialysis programs.
In addition to offering a transplant clinic, a renal clinic, a dialysis clinic, and kidney stone clinic, we provide medical direction to a regional kidney transplant program and provide complete support of patients with end-stage renal disease, including intermittent hemodialysis, CAPD, CCPD, and CRRT.We also care for patients referred by their physician with complex kidney stone problems and serve patients from more than two dozen counties in upstate New York.
To schedule an appointment, please call your nephrology provider directly. Or to find out more, contact the Department of Medicine at SUNY: Upstate Medical University at DeptMedicine@upstate.edu.