Unless you work in the medical field, it can be hard to know whom you should see for various health problems. Maybe you have a friend or family member who either works in healthcare or at a healthcare facility in some other capacity, or maybe you a friend from church had a similar problem last year. You can ask your primary care physician for a referral. In the age of so many physicians being employed by big hospital systems, your primary care physician may or may not have knowledge or control over where those referrals go. Most of those referrals are directed by hospital administrators to an employed provider who may not be a physician, but whose own billing as well as where they order other medical services, such as therapy and imaging, are aligned with the financial interests of the parent organization. This can result in being sent to someone whose scope of practice does not usually include the problem you are needing addressed.
Still, there’s little doubt that choosing a surgeon when you are injured can be stressful. If you have an acute injury, like a fracture, you may not have an unlimited amount of time to shop around. Even if you are dealing with a more long-standing problem, you may be feeling anxiety about picking the right person the first time, as you probably want to avoid ongoing issues or repeat surgeries. Maybe you’re anxious about the recovery time, because you need to get back to work and support your family. You might be taking care of children or an elderly parent, and your shoulder pain or injury may be limiting your ability to do this as well as you’d like.
Perhaps you’re concerned about your insurance coverage and the potential cost to you out of pocket. Maybe you already saw another surgeon and were disappointed with either the interaction or the outcome. Maybe you never got to see the surgeon, and surgery was recommended by someone in their office, but you’re uncomfortable proceeding without being able to talk to the surgeon who will do the procedure and ask them questions directly.Or, like most people, you’re fearful of pain, and fearful of the unknown.
At Oklahoma Shoulder Center, we are dedicated to your shoulder health and want you to have a successful and positive experience. Asking questions is the very best way to make sure you have the very best information. With that in mind, here’s a helpful checklist to use when selecting a shoulder specialist:
Lots of physicians perform shoulder procedures. You want a physician who specializes in doing your shoulder procedure very well. Research indicates that both the complication rate and the length of recovery decrease when you choose a shoulder specialist to perform your procedure.
A great resource to locate a shoulder and elbow specialist is the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) website:
American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) is a society made up of leading national and international Orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in surgery of the shoulder and elbow.At the Oklahoma Shoulder Center, we know you have a choice of shoulder surgeons, and we value YOU, the individual patient. We care about your specific needs. Whether you’re facing common rotator cuff surgery or a complex revision shoulder total replacement, we can help. Call (405) 278-8006 to arrange a consultation with Dr. Nolan.
By Oklahoma Shoulder Center PLLC
June 1, 2019