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Choosing Your Asthma Physician

Many types of physicians administer treatment to patients with bronchial asthma. Family physicians, internists, allergists, and pulmonologists are all involved in treatment of patients with asthma. Excellent care may be provided by any of these types of physicians who are well trained and experienced in treatment of asthma.

An asthma specialist is often a physician who has specialty training in asthma as well as other chest diseases, such as a pulmonologist. Patients with unstable asthma or disease that is unresponsive to treatment should certainly be seen by an asthma specialist who can work in concert with the primary physician. Even patients with mild disease may benefit from a specialist's review of their diagnosis and treatment. Patients with asthma should undergo an allergy evaluation, which may be administered under the direction of an allergist. Many factors enter into your choice of a physician in addition to training and expertise. It should be apparent to each patient if the "chemistry is right" and that a good rapport has been established with a physician. How the physician responds to questions and listens to concerns about chronic disease, fears of medication effects, and descriptions of side effects should make it clear if the right choice of a physician has been made. Other important considerations are availability and how emergency calls are handled, as well as access to facilities for evaluation and treatment. Finally, the patient must feel that a partnership has been established with the physician for achieving the best possible care. Factors to Consider in Choosing an Asthma DoctorIn addition to personal and professional recommendations, other things to consider when choosing a doctor include:    * Insurance coverage – What healthcare insurance plans does the doctor accept?    * Accreditation and board certification – Is the doctor accredited and board certified in an asthma-related specialty?    * Location and hours – Is the doctor's office close to work and/or home? Are the hours convenient? Is the office open in the evenings and on weekends?How Can I Find a Professionally Trained Allergist?You can start by looking in the white pages of your phone book for your local medical society. They are usually listed as (city name) Medical Society.You can also look in the Yellow Pages of your phone book under Physicians. The physicians will be listed under their specialty areaFree Articles, such as "Allergy & Immunology." Choose an allergist that is "Board Certified."

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