Find a Doctor Who is An Expert in Parkinson’s

June 4, 2021

by Dave Ciaccio, Board Chair

The 5th and final newsletter in a series covering the Parkinson’s Foundation’s “5 Steps to Living Well with Parkinson’s.” This month: Find a doctor who is an expert in Parkinson’s.

When my first symptoms of Parkinson’s started to show, I went to see my family physician. After some questioning, he said that I might have Parkinson’s, but he wanted me to see an ‘expert’.

So, I went to see a neurologist who, after some questioning, said again that he thought I had Parkinson’s, but he wanted me to see an ‘expert’.

I set up an appointment with Nebraska Medicine’s Movement Disorder Clinic. There, the doctor confirmed my diagnosis. I was distressed and relieved. Thanks to this expert, I had a direction in a new life.

So what should you look for when looking for help?

The Michael J. Fox Foundation defines a movement disorder expert as “a neurologist with additional training in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. This type of doctor typically has extensive knowledge of Parkinson’s therapies and ongoing research.”

Many of us are fortunate to have these specialists within a reasonable distance. Given advancements in telemedicine, people living in more remote areas are able to connect to expert care. But even just seeing a specialist two to three times each year is helpful.

Seeking out and leaning on an expert gives you peace knowing that, in years to come, you have the support you need on this journey with Parkinson’s.