Following on from the last two articles, “When to call your doctor” and “How to get the best out of your doctor”…
Exhaust all possibilities with your current one
Make sure that you really can’t continue with your existing doctor. If it’s a group practice try talking to other doctors. Find out if there’s a nurse who deals with women’s health. Ask the receptionist who is the best person to talk to about menopause.
Be clear to your doctor about what you need and how important it is to you. Ask them if another doctor might consider a different option. Be sure there are different options — their medicine bag is not all that deep and they are not responsible for the paucity of research into women’s health over the centuries.
Find another doctor
Your doctor doesn’t need to release you. You just need to find another doctor who will accept you. That may be difficult in areas where doctors are over-subscribed. If you are struggling to find a doctor your local clinical commissioning group should help. If you do an internet search for CCG and your region you should find something.
Do your research
For once, “Do Your Research” means looking on the internet. Mostly.
Ask potential GP practices if they have a menopause specialist doctor or nurse. Use local forums to find out about other people’s experience of them — particularly that of women of our age.
Do the admin
That’s the easy bit. The new doctors’ surgery will ask for information for a form and make you an appointment. There may be a thing to sign in order to pass your records over.
If you’ve genuinely exhausted all the resources of the NHS then it might be worth seeing a private specialist. It is my feeling that it is not often necessary if you manage the relationship with your GP effectively.
If it turns out to be the best option, getting as far as you can with the NHS, in terms of trying different solutions or HRT options, should reduce the number of appointments you need and reduce the cost.
If a private specialist prescribes something then your own doctor should continue the prescription.
This is particularly the case with testosterone. Few NHS doctors will prescribe it — but they will continue the prescription if approved by a specialist.
If you do need a private menopause specialist this is the best place to find one.