Today there are many different professions in healthcare and diverse areas of expertise. I’m a huge proponent of co-treating patients with other healthcare providers. In my clinical experience I’ve observed that patients with a healthcare team feel more supported, get better quicker and achieve greater overall health. It’s a great time to explore these opportunities and build a team of healthcare providers that champion your well-being.
Here are some ideas, perspectives and tips on building your healthcare team:
- Having several different providers looking into your medical history can yield a broader understanding of the issue you’re experiencing and thus more clarity on how to resolve it.
- There are limits to each profession and each individual provider. I am the first to admit that I am great at certain things and not so great at others. I am also the first to refer to other experts where my scope of practice sets limits to my ability to help.
- Some providers focus on the physical aspect of health while others focus on the mental-emotional aspects. Some focus on all aspects. Building a team having in mind that you want all levels of wellness covered ensures greater overall health.
- Most health issues are multi-factorial, meaning they have more than one contributing factor and can often benefit from more than one treatment approach.
- Your connection with your health provider is important. Having a positive and supportive therapeutic relationship with a provider is healing. Certain personalities don’t mix and that’s okay. Find providers to join your team that you click with, can relate to, trust and feel confident in receiving your healthcare from.
- Ask friends and family who they see. Ask your current providers who they refer to. Moreover, ask them why they prefer a certain provider and what type of treatment options they offer. This way you can see if you would feel similarly based on their reasoning.
- Do your research. In the digital era, there are many online resources to help you understand more about a particular health profession including the regulatory body of a profession (“College”) and the professional associations.
- Healthcare providers want you to get well and one way to facilitate that is to have your team communicate with each other. We want the best for you and with your permission, we can have inter-professional communication that contributes to achieving your health goals.
- Call or email your prospective healthcare provider. Those who care about being a genuine match with the patients they treat will take the time to talk to you or have their staff talk to you for a few minutes to answer your questions about their philosophy, approach and treatment options.
- You don’t have to be sick or injured to build your healthcare team. Your team will be there for you in case this does happen, but starting maintenance work on your health now is best way to prevent health issues from arising in the future.