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Where to Look For a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Doctor

If you have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS), then it is imperative that you find a healthcare professional to help you cope with it. In order to do that, you need to have a deep understanding of your condition, including all your symptoms.

As there is no medical specialty that focuses on ME/CFS, it can be a challenge to find a good doctor who truly understands what you are going through. In short, chronic fatigue syndrome is not well understood by many healthcare providers. As a result, it often leads to misdiagnosis and improper treatment. While it can be difficult to find a qualified professional to treat your condition properly, there are still several resources that can help with your search, including the following:

1. Your Doctor


If your primary care provider does not really have a good understanding of ME/CFS, then you may want to ask them whether they are willing to learn more about it from someone who is educated on the condition.

2. Other Care Providers


You can ask your other care providers such as your physical therapist, chiropractor, or even massage therapist whether they know someone to recommend.

3. Local Support Groups


Those in local support groups may also know qualified doctors to recommend you as well. Check with your doctor, local clinics, or hospitals to see if there is any support group in your area.

4. Advocacy Groups


Check out ME/CFS advocacy group websites to look for help. You may find a list of recommended doctors on these websites.

5. Friends and Family


Seek help from everyone you know, including your friends, family, and colleagues to see if they can recommend a doctor or if they know anyone with ME/CFS who you can talk to. Although your friends and family may not be able to determine whether a doctor is knowledgeable enough, they can still recommend a doctor who is compassionate and will do their best to help you.

6. Referral Services


Your local clinics and hospitals may provide referral services that you can benefit from. Moreover, your insurance company may also be able to provide you with a list of doctors who specialize in ME/CFS.

What to Do Next?


After you have gathered a list of doctors in your area, you can check for their credentials at the American Medical Association's DoctorFinder website. Call the offices of doctors who are still on your list and let them know about your symptoms. Also, ask them about the doctor’s experience with diagnosing and treating chronic fatigue syndrome. You should also ask them how long it will take to get an appointment and if you will be able to call the doctor when you have any questions or concerns about your condition. Other issues regarding your insurance and payment should be discussed as well.

You should set up an initial face-to-face appointment with your potential doctor before you make your final decision. This meeting will allow you to ask more questions and get to know the doctor to determine whether you want to work with him or her.

Finding a doctor who can get along well with you is extremely crucial. You want a genuine and compassionate doctor who can effectively help you manage your condition. Therefore, use your first appointment to discern whether this doctor is someone you can have a positive doctor-patient relationship with.

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