GET AN ACCURATE 2ND OPINION THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR FIRST OPTION
Cenla Focus - September 2018
With most major decisions in your life, you rely on more than one source of information—buying a car, shopping for a new computer or taking a summer vacation. Isn't your health just as important, and shouldn't you seek as much information as possible in order to decide what is best for your medical care? Seeking out the right physician is not ever an easy task, whether it's for your initial diagnosis or a second opinion. When it comes to your health, you need someone who is reliable, experienced, well credentialed and most important, someone with whom you feel comfortable, who listens to you and who values your opinion. How do you find this person in a convenient location, close to your home?
Choosing a physician is one of the most important decisions you have to make in dealing with illness, being hospitalized, staying healthy through regular checkups or moving forward after with a second opinion. Research suggests that the criteria found to be most important in selecting a doctor includes the following:
• Determining if the physician is board certified. Board certification is based on the completion of a minimum amount of training as well as passing rigorous exams. In many specialties, it assures that the doctor continues education by passing ongoing exams or participating in medical education events.
• Choosing a physician convenient to you rather than you having to travel to specialty centers. This often means that he or she will be there in emergencies or after hours.
• Selecting a physician who is the right choice for you-someone who is qualified, experienced and who communicates with you in a way you understand and feel comfortable and who explains your condition and treatment to your satisfaction.
• Choosing a physician you can trust and with whom you are comfortable, considering age, gender, language, background, training and personality.
• Opting for a physician you are not afraid to ask questions and who listens to you because you are often the key to your own diagnosis and who is not only comfortable with you seeking a second opinion, but who encourages you to seek that peace of mind. If a doctor in Shreveport, Alexandria, Natchitoches, Ruston or Minden tells you no one else can help you, that should tell you all you need to know to seek a second opinion.
Dr. Stephen W. Wheat is a Northwest Louisiana physician who meets the criteria most people are looking for in a primary physician as well as someone who can offer a second opinion. Dr. Wheat is qualified, experienced, compassionate, is a regular guest lecturer at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and has served as a member of the Mayo Clinic Professional Practice and Professional Program Committees of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine in Rochester, WI but who primarily practices medicine in Natchitoches and Shreveport.
Dr. Wheat is one of the most trusted and skilled physicians in the region and has been recognized as one of Louisiana's Top Docs by Louisiana Life Magazine. He is triple board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Internal Medicine and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He is committed to quality, compassionate care and patient satisfaction. He uses advanced diagnostic capabilities including ultrasound, Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) to diagnose chronic pain issues. He has performed greater than 14,000 electrodiagnostic procedures and 10,000 neuromuscular and skeletal ultrasound procedures in more than 25 years as a physician.
A second opinion can help you avoid being misdiagnosed and give you confidence that you are receiving the most appropriate treatment for the condition you are facing . If your original physician recommends surgery, but there are effective non-surgical treatments for your condition, such as back or knee pain, seek the input of a physician who offers non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, pain management, and/or lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. Dr. Stephen Wheat is dedicated to helping patients receive an accurate diagnosis. He wants his patients to have the confidence of knowing that they are being heard and to know that a diagnosis by one of the most experienced and highest credentialed physicians in the region is available to them in the most convenient location for them—right here close to home.
Dr. Wheat is a graduate of Louisiana State University Medical School, Shreveport. He earned a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans. In 1997, Dr. Wheat completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport, and then earned a board certification in Electrodiagnostic Medicine. His Shreveport office is located at 385 West Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, Suite 500, and his Natchitoches office is located at 138 East 5th Street. To find out more about his practice and how he can help find the source of your pain, go to www.wheatmedical.com or call (318) 352-4477.
Sometimes doctors get it wrong. Second opinions can bring peace of mind and encourage patient engagement. If your physician doesn't support you getting a second opinion, see how fast you can run.