I Moved, Now Where's My Doctor?
The house in Buffalo is sold. Almost everything I own is still in storage there. I am on Long Island with new career opportunities and a new purpose. Being about an hour away from Manhattan is part excitement and part nerve-wracking. I am still on the hunt for that perfect resting spot for my family and me. After a score of open houses and a few offers, the hunt is still on. Moving and change are hard.
Outdoor hobbies and sun exposure
I spend many mornings taking wildlife photos in Centerport, NY. There are bald eagles in Centerport. I find myself at Mill Pond waiting for them to cross over and hunt for breakfast. Hours seem like minutes as I wait to capture that perfect shot. I am outside a lot.
The other day I was tracking the birds looking directly into the rising sun for about four hours. The birds were backlit so the photos were not great, but the experience always is. There is a problem, though. I stand there staring directly into the rising and late morning sun, with rays reflecting off the water. I completely lose myself in the moment and forget that I am actually burning.
Moving boxes and a dermatologist search
I realize that the morning sun in November is not strong, but I know that I am accumulating sun exposure. Now, I pack sunscreen in my bag along with my 600mm lens and snacks. All this got me thinking, that I need to find a dermatologist here. I should not wait until I buy a home and move all my stuff (junk) here. This is yet another detail on my long “to do” list.
My tips for finding a new dermatologist
I will begin the search tomorrow and here is my plan:
- Ask around. I have a fairly strong network here and I am going to ask my friends and acquaintances for recommendations. If they do not actually have a dermatologist, then I am going to take this opportunity to encourage them to do so.
- Google. Nothing like a good, old-fashioned search to find a skin doctor. I will be looking for dermatologists with good reviews and practices that have multiple offices and doctors.
- American Cancer Society (ACS). I will check in with the local chapter. I used to work for the ACS and they might be able to lead me in the right direction.
- New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The NYSDOH has a robust program throughout the state and I will see how they can assist me.
- Health insurance provider. At the end of the day, my health insurance provider will foot a large part of my bills so it makes sense to get their input on finding a good dermatologist.
- Online community. While the SkinCancer.net community does not make specific recommendations regarding doctors, I think it is a good place to find resources that may help me in my search.
The value of credibility and experience
I am looking for a doctor and not a telehealth professional. I want someone with extensive training and experience in diagnosing and treating melanoma and other skin cancers. Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are a bonus for any practice that I will consider, but I want and need the highest level of treatment available and that is the end game here. More to come.
How do you feel about being called a skin cancer survivor?