Finding a Migraine Doctor
You have severe, debilitating headaches that cause you to vomit and huddle in a dark room for hours waiting for them to go away. Chances are they are migraines. The only way to know for sure, and start on the path to managing your condition if they are migraines, is to be properly diagnosed.
The first step should always be your regular doctor. One out of every eight people suffers from migraines, so chances are good that your doctor has seen someone who has migraines before. If your regular doctor does not feel qualified to properly diagnose the source of your headaches or discounts your pain, it may be time for a specialist.
Ask your doctor for a referral to a headache specialist. If they do not know anyone, check with your insurance company to see if they have any specialists listed. If that doesn’t work (or even if it does), contact your local medical board. You can also try one of the major headache organizations for professionals, not patients, and ask for the name of three or four specialists in your area.
Check with friends and family. The odds are good you know someone with migraines and they may just have a doctor they love. Another good place to ask for a referral is at a local teaching hospital or university.
When you have a few names, call and find out more about the doctor. Some good screening questions to ask the doctor are:
* How long have you been specializing in headache treatment and how often do you treat headache patients?
* Are you certified in your specialty (for doctors in the U.S. and Canada)?
* Do you belong to any headache-oriented professional organizations?
* Do you participate in any kind of continuing education program to stay apprised of the latest research on headache diagnosis and treatment?