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3525 Prytania St, Suite 614 - New Orleans, LA 70115 - 504-891-8454

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"You have turned my life around"
 

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle


I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian


Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace

 


Most men and women have a primary care physician (PCP), internist or family doctor. But often you will find yourself in the need of a specialist. A medical specialist practices in a very narrow aspect of medicine whereas a PCP covers the entire gamut of medical care but not to the same depth as a specialist. A specialist, like a PCP, completes medical school, and then has additional education consisting of a residency and a fellowship which is even additional training that allows them to subspecialize within a specialty, for example a doctor may train to become a gynecologist and then take additional training to be come a subspecialist in pelvic reconstruction.

In your search for a medical specialist, you should remember that most specialists receive their patients through referrals from family doctors or from other specialists.

Your family doctor or internist usually will decide whether your medical condition needs the attention of a specialist. For example, if you have a mild inflammation of the ear canal, your family doctor is quite capable of treating it. If there is chronic inflammation of the ear canal, however, or if you have suffered a partial loss of hearing, your family doctor probably will refer you to an otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist).

Sometimes it may be difficult to determine the type of medical specialist needed to diagnose and treat a particular problem. For example, visual problems may be limited to abnormalities in the eye itself, but they may also be the result of a wide variety of causes, including diabetes, hardening of the arteries, a stroke, or a tumor in a part of the brain that controls vision.

The human body is an organic system. Changes in one part of the system affect other parts, and no part of the system functions in isolation. Consequently, the first task in treating an illness is to discover the underlying primary cause of the ailment. When the cause is found, you may then be referred to a medical specialist who deals with the specific area of the body most affected by that problem.

The first line of action in selecting a medical specialist is to follow the advice of your family doctor. Your family doctor will know whether you need a specialist. However, you can always ask for a second opinion or seek out a specialist on your own.

If your family doctor refers you to a medical specialist, or if you seek one on your own, you should learn what each specialty consists of and what to expect when you see a specialist. Knowledge, after all, is a key tool when seeking a medical specialist.

It is a good idea to find out if your specialist is board certified. This means that the doctor has passed an examination that deems himher qualified to treat various conditions within that speciality.

If you are referred to a specialist, and the specialist recommends surgery, you may want to know what experience heshe has with the procedure, how many they have done, what are their complications, and in big cases like heart valve replacement or removal of a brain tumor, you will want to know what are the doctors' mortality rates or how many patients did not survive the surgery.

You can find out about your physicians' board-certification at the American Board of Medical Specialists (http://www.abms.org/). As part of its public service, access to the ABMS Medical Specialists Online certification verification service is available to the public free of charge. This self-serve resource allows you to conduct searches by a physician's name or area of certification and a state name.

Bottom Line: Finding a specialist can be a daunting experience. However, with a good referral from your primary care doctor, a little research on your part, and then a face to face meeting to determine if there is good chemistry between you and your specialist, you can be reasonably certain that you have made a good choice.