Where possible, select a physician who specializes not just in cancer but in the nuances of your specific type of prostate cancer. How do you find such a doctor? If you are newly diagnosed, start by consulting your diagnosing doctor, that is, the one who found your prostate cancer. He or she may be an expert in the field, or they may refer you to one or more doctors who are.
Other factors to consider when selecting a doctor:
- Are they covered by your health insurance?
- Are they affiliated with a university or research hospital?
- Does their “bedside manner” align with your personality? Are they analytical? Compassionate? Do they seem interested in making you a partner in this process? Do they seem interested in what is important to you?
- Take your time
- Don’t be afraid to shop around and get second or even third opinions.
- Be careful of random advice, e.g. “surgery is the best” or “radiation is the best” or “eat this herb and your cancer will be cured.” For accurate information, use data on reputable websites and those that your doctor recommends.
- Once you have committed, trust is key, but continue to be your own advocate: ask questions, do research, and remain curious.
Resources to Find and Evaluate Doctors
Administrators in Medicine DocFinder
Information on licensing and disciplinary actions taken against doctors in 18 states; links to state medical boards of remaining states.
American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
Includes a database to find doctors who are ABMS Member Board Certified Specialists, a designation achieved through additional training and education.
American College of Surgeons
Information about finding surgeons who are Board Certified as well as information about surgical specialties. Includes database of member surgeons.
American Medical Association DoctorFinder
Education, board certification, and hospital admitting privileges for doctors who belong to the AMA.
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) RT Answers
Includes searchable database of radiation oncologists.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Cancer.Net
Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) can be found on the site Cancer.Net. This site includes a “Find an Oncologist” tool with tips on choosing a doctor and a database of oncologists.
Urology Care Foundation
Searchable database of member urologists all of whom have been certified by the American Board of Urology.
Medicare Physician and Other Healthcare Professional Directory
Provider profiles including specialties, practicing locations, and phone numbers. Other information may also include education, gender, residency, foreign languages spoken, and hospital affiliation.
Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO)
The purpose of the SUO is to develop educational and research initiatives and to study issues in urologic oncology and provide physician statements that represent a state of the art assessment of these issues to other organizations. Site includes a database of members.
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