Are sites like Healthgrades worth the money? Are there better ways to research doctors?
September 11, 2008 11:35 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to find an excellent neurologist for my Mom in Omaha, NE. I have been doing research with little success. Are sites like HealthGrades worth the money? Are there any other ways that I can research a doctor's background and perhaps read reviews on them?

My Mom suffers hearing loss and headaches and they are both getting worse. She is 60. Her old neurologist is pushing 80, and seems to be just going through the motions or his job at this point.

She needs to find a new neurologist who is very pro-active and systematic in finding out what's wrong. I am trying to do research for her but it seems like every site with actual information on doctors wants me to fork over at least $30 to read a report on a single doctor. I don't mind paying the money if it is actually worth it, so I was looking for some feedback or other ideas on how to research doctors. Thanks.
posted by Ostara to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As your mom's neurologist for a referral for a second opinion. I think the best way to know who's a good doctor is ask other doctors.
posted by gramcracker at 11:58 AM on September 11, 2008

RateMDs is a free review database for doctors.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:00 PM on September 11, 2008

Hey, I'm from Omaha! When I need a doctor here, I go to Creighton University Medical Center and find a doctor who is also a professor or assistant professor at Creighton University School of Medicine. These folks are generally top in their field locally, or at the very least, respected enough to teach the stuff to med students. The staff of the Creighton neurology department is listed here. You can look up contact information here.

You might also try the same strategy at University of Nebraska Medical Center, also in Omaha. UNMC neurology faculty is listed here and you can contact them here.

These are the only two medical schools in the state, and their associated hospitals are very well-regarded. Good medical schools mean good doctors. Best of luck!
posted by Sfving at 12:10 PM on September 11, 2008

I agree with Sfving, an easy and usually good method to find a good doc is to look at a teaching hospital. You've got two in Omaha. So go to the websites of the Neurology departments and read the bios on the doctors. You should try to find one that has some interest or experience in the areas where your mom needs help.

Also, you should probably check out an ENT. For hearing loss and headaches an ENT might be the best place to start and then the ENT can recommend a neurologist to help manage her care.
posted by sulaine at 12:24 PM on September 11, 2008

Hey sulaine, thanks for the backup! I agree, an ENT might be a better bet than a neurologist, especially when you're concerned about hearing loss.

If you're looking for an ENT in Omaha, you should absolutely go to Boys Town National Research Hospital, which is adjacent to Creighton University Medical Center. BTNRH is internationally known for its work with hearing issues. (My mom is a speech pathologist there, actually, and comes home with a lot of success stories. Her team just handled a family that flew in from India for a cochlear implant.) Look up a doctor here, or email me and I'll ask my mom for a specific recommendation. Be aware that Boys Town is focused towards children, but they do help older folks also.
posted by Sfving at 1:11 PM on September 11, 2008

Thanks for all of the great answers so far! Regarding the choice of a neurologist rather than an ENT, it is because her hearing loss might be caused by a schwanoma (sp?) that showed up during an MRI.
posted by Ostara at 2:57 PM on September 11, 2008

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