The most important decision of my life!!
Jun 20, 2005
Dear Dr Wohl,
I found out that I am HIV positive 21 days ago. I am currently uninsured but have access to a PPO insurance plan through marriage. The doctor that I was assigned to by the free clinic has only been doing this for 2 years. I'm worried that he may be too wet behind the ears. If I do get married and become insured under my potential spouse's plan I run into the problem of how to choose a doctor. I live in Los Angeles and there are plenty of doctors but how do I choose the best one? Every time I ask someone they give me a list of potentially good doctors, but how am I supposed to know who I should go to and who will do the best job. Am I over analyzing this or am I right to think one doctor could potentially be better than another? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Response from Dr. Wohl
There are plenty of good HIV docs in the LA area. Many are at UCLA and in private practice as well as at area health clinics.
Much depends on which doctors your plan covers. I would ask around. Talk to people at some of the AIDS Service Organizations and see who the HIV+ directors at these orgs see. Join a support group and get the buzz on who is a hot doc and who is definitely not.
You can also give your doc a try. Ask how many patients with HIV he sees. Is HIV 100% of his/her practice or a small proportion. You want someone who has experience and sees lots of HIV (more than 50% of the practice should be dedicated to HIV). A doc two years in practice who sees almost nothing but HIV is better than a 15 year veteran who treats 10 patients with HIV a year.
Also, ask your current do who he/she would recommend if you wanted a second opinion. Let your fingers do the walking.
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