Doctors have a difficult job. The human body is extremely complex, and most doctors are extraordinarily busy. They are usually forced to take on large patient loads, deal with insurance companies, try to stay on top of new developments in their field, as well as manage staff. Unfortunately, this is a system designed to prevent doctors from giving the kind of care they would like to provide. These systemic issues with medical care make getting proper care for nuanced issues like erectile dysfunction exceptionally difficult.
I struggled with ED for ten years before getting the help I needed. I made a lot of mistakes along my path to recovery. My first mistake was assuming the system was designed to meet my medical needs. Once I realized it wasn’t, I fired many doctors, one after the other. I kept running into the same issues. They didn’t want to look for the cause of my ED. They simply wanted to treat the symptoms.
Choosing a doctor is a personal and error-prone process. Ideally, you want a doctor who gives you confidence because they are good at what they do and are willing to involve you, the patient, in the process as much as possible. As the patient, you must hold your doctors accountable and let them know, as politely as possible, that you will not settle for a status quo level of care. Simply treating symptoms is not going to cut it. You need to insist that they look for and treat the underlying cause.
I realize that most of you are constrained by your medical insurance or lack thereof. After seeing at least six doctors via insurance, I gave up on working within the system and paid out of pocket. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny. I finally got the help I needed. Doctors who don't accept insurance usually don't want the care they give to be restrained by for-profit companies.
Unfortunately, going out of pocket is not practical for most men. However, it's worth considering if you have the resources and are unsatisfied with the doctors who take your insurance. If you must work within the insurance system, do your homework, find the best doctor you can, and get 2nd and 3rd opinions. Don’t settle, keep looking.
So, what should you look for in a doctor? Here is a short list.
Is the doctor well-versed in men’s health issues?
Will the doctor attempt to identify and treat the root cause of your ED? Unfortunately, most doctors only manage the symptoms of ED with drugs like Viagra and Cialis.
Does the doctor recommend rehabilitation in addition to managing the symptoms? Rehab is key to long-term success.
Do they even bring up diet, sleep, and exercise?
Does your doctor know how to interpret Testosterone and Estradiol levels? Most doctors do not understand the difference between “normal” and “healthy” ranges.
If you have low testosterone, does your doctor understand that treating low testosterone alone is usually not enough to reverse ED? Correcting testosterone levels is critical for treating ED, but ED usually has many contributing causes to address.
Do they respect you and your input?
Given the state of the medical system, many men will have to work with doctors who are not a perfect fit. At least try to find a doctor open to working and learning with you.
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