Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Seeking PCP outside Philadelphia area

Discussion in 'ME/CFS Doctors' started by GypsyGirl, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. GypsyGirl

    GypsyGirl

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    North Carolina
    I've been seeking specialists in the Philly area and received a lot of info. (Thanks!)

    Now, I'm looking for a PCP. (I'm moving to PA in the next month or so, so I have to find ALL new docs.)

    I'm posting here because I feel like I can't go to just any PCP. (some horrible past experiences, as is not unusual with the spectrum of illnesses I/we have)

    Details: It would be ideal to find a doctor willing to work with LLMD specialist. Um, a doc who believes Lyme & ME/CFS exist and listens to patients at face value. Who'd be open to helping with the "transfer" of treatment from my current doctor of several years.

    I'm not sure whether I sound super picky or though I'm reiterating basic needs; again, I've had some mistreatment from PCPs mostly because they didn't believe what I was saying. Seeking a new "home doctor" is terrifying me. My current doc is nothing fancy - rather "old school", but he works with specialists, has never forced me on/off medications/treatments I wasn't comfortable with, tells me like it is/can trust his opinion.

    So. Does anyone know of/would recommend a PCP around Philly? I'll be in the Montgomery County area. (That's about an hour's drive/30 miles northwest of Philly.)
     
  2. abbs02

    abbs02

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    PA / south-central NJ
    I'm also new to the Philly/Montgomery County area (recently moved from Boston, and new to the forum). Have you had any leads on finding a PCP, or credible specialists who don't have 1+ year long waiting lists? I figured I would ask you instead of creating a potentially redundant thread.

    Thanks!
     
  3. GypsyGirl

    GypsyGirl

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    North Carolina
    @abbs02

    Hey! I have actually moved back to NC, but I do have a long list of PA doctors & notes I saved in Google drive. If you PM me your email address, I can send that to you. (Or I'm glad to copy and paste into a PM; it just might mess with the formatting/be difficult to read.)

    I did have an appointment set up (that I was never able to get to) with Dr. Heidi Wittels. She was my top choice in specialist.

    A handful of people on another forum had recommended Dr. Detweiler as a PCP (he's worked with a lot of CFS people). The waitlist was about 6 weeks long for him, I think. Instead, I saw Dr. Evan Kessler at Detweiler Family Medicine in Lansdale (2 or 3 appts?). My experience was that he was adequate - I really didn't see him enough times to form a solid opinion. He did not send up any red flags, but I didn't feel he really took charge in helping to figure out what was wrong. But again, a couple of appointments isn't enough to really know.

    Let me know if you'd like me to send you the list of docs. Even though I'm not in PA anymore, I'd be glad to help out if I can. Hope you're enjoying the area!
     
  4. abbs02

    abbs02

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    PA / south-central NJ
    Too bad you've moved from the area, but thanks so much for sharing your list of docs. I'll send you a PM in a bit.

    Dr. Wittels is near the top of my list, so glad to hear someone else also thought highly enough of her (even if just from research). I'll hopefully get to see in person.

    Thanks as well for the PCP recs. I might be moving to NJ soon so may end up looking for one around there instead, but the more doctors known, the better!

    Hope NC is treating you well!
     
    GypsyGirl likes this.
  5. Scotty81

    Scotty81

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    Hi @abbs02

    My daughter was just diagnosed with having a Lyme coinfection (B. Microti). I see that you have recommended Dr. Heidi Wittels as a doc to see outside of the Philly area. My daughter was just diagnosed with a Lyme coinfection and the doc who helped diagnose this suggested that she could see Dr. Heidi Wittels, if we didn't have anyone else lined up. Could you let me know how she got to be on the top of your list? You can PM me if you want to let me know that way.

    Thanks in advance.

    Scotty81
     
  6. GypsyGirl

    GypsyGirl

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    North Carolina
    Hi Scotty,

    I see you were asking @abbs02 for info, but here's my two cents if it helps.

    Dr. Wittels was my top choice because she uses both allopathic/Western medicine (antibiotics, etc) and alternative (supplements, nutrition, etc). The research I'd done with Lyme indicated that chronic Lyme responds best to a combination of treatments, and I wanted to see a doctor that was experienced with & comfortable integrating those methods.

    I'm now seeing a doctor in NC who is similar in method to Dr. Wittels and see improvement.

    Best wishes to you and your daughter.
     
  7. abbs02

    abbs02

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    PA / south-central NJ
    Hi @Scotty81,

    Sorry for the delay, but @GypsyGirl's reasoning was basically similar to mine. I've found the dual approach to be quite helpful, both in treatment combinations/options but also in communicating with conventionally-minded doctors. Her approach also seemed similar to my physician in Boston.

    I actually didn't end up going to see Dr. Wittels, though -- not because of anything against her, but I've had to travel back to Boston for other reasons so am still in touch with my doctor there. I also have a pretty borderline Lyme diagnosis, so decided to go with another doctor who similarly has a combined Western/alternative approach, Dr. Michael Cheikin. He doesn't specialize in Lyme and isn't as knowledgeable as other physicians in the various treatment options for Lyme and its coinfections, but was recommended by a friend as someone who works with patients with unclear or complex cases. But Dr. Wittels is still on my list just in case.

    Hope your daughter finds some help and relief. Keep persevering!

    abbs
     
  8. Meike

    Meike

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    Hi all. I am new to the forum and was excited to see this old thread.

    I live near Philly and am looking for a primary care physician who has some experience with ME/CFS patients. I reached out to Dr. Detweiler's office, but wanted to check if anyone had any other recommendations.

    Thanks!
     

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