Top 10 Ways to Find the Best Thyroid Doctorsby Mary Shomon Patient Advocate
The right doctor is an essential part of the overall success of your thyroid diagnosis and treatment. But where do you go to find a qualified, experienced health care provider for your thyroid care? Here are 10 ways to find the best thyroid doctors, thyroid cancer physicians, integrative hormone experts, and thyroid surgeons.
Ask for a referral
To find a top thyroid provider, you can ask for referrals. Some useful sources include:
- Your primary care doctor or gynecologist
- Other trusted healthcare providers, such as nutritionists, acupuncturists, or physical therapists
- Trusted friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers
- Nurses at local hospitals or healthcare provider offices
Use organization directories
Professional groups in the thyroid and endocrine area maintain searchable directories and databases that allow you to find thyroid specialists and endocrinologists in your area. Two key resources are:
- The American Thyroid Association’s "Find an Endocrinologist/Thyroid Specialist" directory
- The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) “Find an Endocrinologist” database. (Note: Select “Thyroid Dysfunction” under the category “Endocrine Focus” when you perform your search.)
Finding a thyroid surgeon
Experienced thyroid surgeons have lower complication rates. If you are looking for an experienced thyroid surgeon, check out:
American Thyroid Association database — search on "Surgery - Endocrine"
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists practitioner database — search in “Surgery”
If you have thyroid cancer
If you have thyroid cancer, a good resource for finding expert physicians is the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association list of medical advisors. You can also join ThyCa’s Listservs for your specific type of thyroid cancer, and get recommendations from fellow thyroid cancer patients. Also:
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists practitioner database — search “cancer”
American Thyroid Association database — choose "oncology"
When you need an integrative or holistic provider
If you are looking for an integrative or holistic provider with expertise in thyroid and hormone balance, here are some recommendations:
American College for Advancement in Medicine — Integrative Physician Finder
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) online directory
Lifescript’s Doctors Who Treat or Diagnose Hormonal Imbalance
The American College for Advancement in Medicine’s Physician+Link integrative doctor database
More integrative and holistic doctor databases
Thyroid-specific doctor lists
There are several thyroid-specific doctor lists, including:
ThyroidChange’s patient-recommended integrative U.S. thyroid doctor list
Search your insurance or HMO directory of doctors
Health insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have searchable databases of their providers, for example Aetna DocFind, United Healthcare Doctor Finder, and Kaiser Find Doctors. Lifescript’s Doctor Finder database searches by insurer, including Aetna, Amerigroup, Assurant, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Coventry, Guardian, Healthnet, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Medicaid, Medicare, Molina, United Healthcare, Wellcare, and Wellpoint.
Use a doctor rating website
There are websites that allow patients to rate and review doctors. Keep in mind that these are unverified reviews and ratings, which can skew the results.
A better choice may be Angie's List, which verifies the patient reviews of doctors.
Use an outside doctor-rating service
You may want to review ratings from media or other doctors. Some helpful resources include:
Consumer Reports Doctor and Hospital Ratings feature.
Best in Medicine’s impartial "Doctors to Watch" List
US News Top Doctors list
In California, the California Quality Ratings database has a quantitative rating of physicians and hospitals in the state.
Use an independent service like Castle Connolly
Castle Connolly is the leading American company that publishes verified and vetted top-doctors lists in their proprietary books and websites. The Castle Connolly Top Doctors Directory is available free online.