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6 Tips for Choosing Your HIV Doctor

By Mark S. King

May 18, 2010

"Doctor doctor, give me the news I got a bad case of loving you ..."
-- Robert Palmer

I had to say goodbye to my doctor recently. I was moving out of state, and Dr. David Morris of Pride Medical Group in Atlanta had been nothing but a patient, supportive teacher to me. Over the years he's seen me through Hepatitis C, a few crystal meth drug relapses and three boyfriends. I love him and what he's done for me, and I hated the prospect of finding a replacement in Florida.

Fortunately, Dr. Morris agreed to give me some tips to make the process easier, and in this video episode you'll see me take his advice. From medical records to being honest about my history, you can watch me use his advice during my very first appointment with Dr. Dominic Riganotti in Ft. Lauderdale.

That's right. Dr. Riganotti allowed me to film our very first meeting, and I appreciate his willingness to educate others through this process. And here's the biggest lesson: don't be afraid to ask questions about anything you think is important (several suggestions are provided in the video). It is perfectly customary for potential patients to question the doctor's qualifications to treat them.

If there is anyone is our lives for whom nothing is "too much information," it's our doctor. As a patient I used to be more hesitant disclosing private issues like my sexual habits or drug abuse history, but I got over it when I realized my doctor wanted to help me, not put me in jail.

Episode 18: Six Tips for Choosing Your HIV Doctor

If you visit a doctor who doesn't like the questions or gives you attitude, you can thank the jerk for their time and go find someone else (or request another provider at your HMO or community health center). This relationship is too important not to feel completely confident in his or her abilities.

I hope this video is helpful to you or someone you know. Thanks for watching, and please be well.


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