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Is My Doctor Any Good?
Dec 7, 2009

I wonder if my doctor is any good, and sometimes wonder if he is lazy. He is in a town 30 miles to the east of me and is an infectious disease specialist, supposedly. I saw a question about providers and the answer that was posted suggested finding a provider through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. There are none within a 100 mile radius of my city (a major city). None in the city where my doctor is. In the closest "huge" city (which is Kansas City) there are only 4. How concerned should I be?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your post.

There are many good HIV heathcare providers across the US- unfortunately, there isn't any single measure of qualifications. The American Academy of HIV Medicine offers the only certificate in HIV medicine (I'm a member and a "Certified HIV Specialist"). However, not all care providers are members- this is where things can get more challenging to sort out ('tis the season), who's naughty and who's nice. It's hard from your post to ascertain what might make your doc lazy, but perhaps that's worth a separate question, or at least a discussion with the doctor.

Having board certification in infectious diseases is one measure (though not all ID specialists are really that expert in HIV).

One thing that I would suggest you ask your doc is whether or not he regularly attends HIV medical education programs or national (or international) conferences. How many HIV patients does he provide direct (not administrative) care?

Lastly, I'd have a conversation with the local AIDS service organizations about their recommendations- I know that there are some good ones in KC.

In the end, you should feel comfortable with the medical decisions and qualities of your doctor. If you're not, it's time to consider your alternatives.

Be well, BY



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