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Finding a general practitioner
Aug 14, 2011

Hello, my question is that I don't know how to find a general physician that sees HIV patients. I tested positive through a clinic and found an infectious disease doctor who put me on atripla, dapsone, zithromax, and valcyte. My HIV doc says I need to find a general practitioner for my non-HIV issues. I actually really like him as a doctor. My reservation is finding a general practitioner who is completely comfortable seeing HIV patients. Living in Chicago I should have choices but unclear where to look.....

Response from Dr. Fawcett

While it is not uncommon for specialists to limit their scope of practice to a specific area of medicine, it places the responsibility onto the patient to become their own advocate in terms of communication and coordination of care among their healthcare team. While listings of physicians are relatively easy to find, it is probably best to network locally with HIV organizations who can give you a names of internists who are comfortable working with HIV. Your HIV clinic should have suggestions, but you could also try other organizations. In Chicago, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago as well as the Center on Halstead might have referral resources for HIV-friendly physicians (even if you're not gay they probably have a lot of experience networking with local healthcare providers).

Once you get some names don't be afraid to really check them out by looking at credentials and asking people in your social network what they have heard. Make an appointment to be certain you are comfortable with the doctor and be certain you are assertive about your needs.

Good luck!

-David



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