Saturday, May 29, 2010
If you have been led to this site by googling the keywords "psoriasis doctors Philippines," then I hope that this article will be of help in your search for the right healthcare professional. Keep in mind that having psoriasis only means that your relationship with your psoriasis doctor is a long-term one. Hence, you would want to work with the right doctor in treating and/or managing your psoriasis.
The Doctor's Field of Specialization
Since psoriasis affects the skin, the first thing that should come to mind is a doctor specializing in skin disorders and their treatments, called a dermatologist. If you don't know any dermatologist in your area, then the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) website is a good starting point.
Look for the words Find A Derm on the upper right corner of the PDS website's main page, then click it. You will be brought to the Doctor Locator page. There's a box which allows you to search a dermatologist using a map, or search by name, province, region, city/municipality and address. Regardless of the method you use in searching for a dermatologist in your area, the names, clinic location, and telephone numbers of the members of the PDS will appear on your monitor.
The Doctor's Background and Training
Not all dermatologists are alike, however. While you may be familiar, or want to consult, with the dermatologists whom you always see on television because they are the doctors of your favorite celebrity, they may not be trained for psoriasis treatment. Their training may be more in cosmetic dermatology.
Your best bet would be a doctor whose practice focuses on medical dermatology or immunodermatology. In order not to waste your time in going to the doctor, you may want to call the dermatologists first and inquire whether they are experienced in treating psoriasis. If you know any persons with psoriasis, then you can ask recommendations from them. You may also want to contact Psoriasis Philippines, or ask any of its members, for any dermatologists that they can recommend to you.
If you really want a doctor who thoroughly understands the disease, then a dermatologist who has a fellowship or membership with the National Psoriasis Foundation can be one of the requirements in your choice. These doctors have undergone special and/or extensive training in psoriasis treatment in the United States.
Sympathetic or Empathetic Doctors?
While you want a highly-trained doctor in treating your psoriasis, you would also want a doctor who treats you as a human being. Psoriasis highly affects our self-esteem and self-confidence, and you would only want a doctor who not only sympathizes but also empathizes with you.
You don't need more sympathy, that is, you don't want your doctor to share your suffering. He or she may not be able to help you that way. What you need from your doctor is a humane understanding of what you're going through. Theodore Lipps, the 19th century German psychologist, called it "einfuhlung" (which directly translates into "in-feeling"), which means that a health care professional should thoroughly understand your inner feelings and experiences as a patient and must be able to express that understanding to you.
Studies have shown that doctors who are empathetic are able to strengthen the relationship of trust with their patients. You may later find that this empathetic communication between you and the doctor makes it easier for you to accept the reality of your chronic condition. With acceptance comes the quiet resolve to do something about it. Then, it becomes easier to follow the prescribed treatment program and to proactively manage your psoriasis.
If the first doctor you visit does not have this vital attribute of empathy, try looking around. There must be someone out there: Filipino doctors are much sought after in other countries, not least because they are able to establish empathy with their patients.
Photo credit: caroline_1 (flickr.com)