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From cancer care to generally superior patient care, every medical condition and its treatment options involve various factors. Finding the right specialists, crafting a DIY medical degree as you try to understand your diagnosis, and consulting patients and medical professionals can all be overwhelming. Whether you need oncologists, blood specialists, or another medical professional, finding the best specialist for your condition is one aspect that can be made easier with a few simple tips.

1. Find a reputable resource.

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When you’re considering treatment options and providers to help you manage your cancer care or other medical needs, one of the most helpful tools in your arsenal is a trustworthy resource with expertise on the type of care you need. When you take to searching “Oncologists near me,” you need to know that the results you find are reliable. After all, there’s no end to the medical information available on any particular condition.

Experts are constantly releasing new research, clinical research, and other knowledge in oncology and other fields. Even experts with a medical degree can’t always keep up with advances in treatment options and patient care! A resource like Medifind offers the first step to understanding your medical condition and care needs—it‘s the next best thing to gaining a medical degree with a focus in oncology yourself.

2. Connect with your fellow patients.

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The right resource can help you understand your medical needs, but sometimes you need a more personal kind of insight into your condition. Whether online or in-person, reach out to your fellow patients through support groups and other connections to learn more about a particular oncologist, attending physician, or various hospital teams in your area.

Whether you’re looking for medical oncology experts, hematologists, or simply the most knowledgeable internal medicine professional in New York, other patients have been through the process already. Their unique insight into the patient care and treatment experience will help you to better prepare for your medical care, whether that’s recommending the chief resident at a specific hospital or sharing a not-so-great experience with a particular hematology department.

3. Do your due diligence.

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As a patient, you expect your doctors and the rest of your medical care team to perform due diligence throughout your treatment plan. Still, even without the legal requirements and professional expectations that come with a medical degree, you should be doing the same.

Even with the most trustworthy medical professionals on your side, you need to do your part to ensure your treatment is the best it can be. Learn more about your condition, understand the treatment methods you’re undergoing, and communicate any concerns to your oncologist.

From disclosing a particular medication to studying the basic requirements of breast cancer treatment or other oncology needs, taking the initiative in your treatment, and gaining a basic understanding of your condition from a medical standpoint, doing your part will make a world of difference in your care.

4. Talk to your doctor.

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In some cases, your insurance provider may require you to get a referral from your primary care physician before seeing a specialist, whether that’s a medical oncology expert or a physician recommended by the American Society of Hematology. Even if you don’t need a formal referral, you may want to consult your doctor for their recommendation anyway. You presumably trust your family doctor, and you depend on them to provide quality care.

By extension, you can assume they’ll recommend an oncologist, hematologist, or other specialists who’ll do the same. They may even recommend a colleague they worked with personally through a fellowship or residency. At the very least, your doctor can point you in the right direction, leading you to the resources or professionals you need.

Medical oncology, hematology, and other specialized forms of medicine require the expertise and insight that only a qualified specialist can provide. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the right specialist is key to getting the quality, compassion, and level of experience you need to treat a particular condition, whether that’s breast cancer or lymphoma.

Oncology patients and others in need of a specialist can trust resources like Medifind, their fellow patients, reliable physicians, and their own research to help create the treatment plan they need, backed by a high-quality specialist. With the right resources at hand, you won’t need a medical degree of your own—you’ll be ready to face radiation therapy and other treatment with more confidence.