Doctors and Dragons: A Pen and Paper Adventure

Last updated: November 2018

When facing down their dragon (a term among people in the hep C community use to describe the condition), it’s important to find good allies. A support network is huge, but this about the allies who can get patients treatment and help get a patient healthy with the least stress. It’s about finding treasure in the form of a doctor who you can feel connected to, who you can trust, and who can walk them through the steps without the bevy of confusing denials and surprise symptoms.

So, let’s break this quest down into parts, because, over the course of my diagnoses, I’ve had:

  • Over a dozen Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners
  • Seven Hepatologists and six Gastroenterologists (GIs)
  • Three transplant docs
  • Two turtle-doves
  • And a hundred referrals from GPs (General Practitioners)

I’m kidding about the turtle-doves, but a lot of times, searching for the right doctor can feel like it’s for the birds, or inspires you to give someone one.

First quest: Research!

The anguish can fade away when you find the perfect doc who has bedside manner, helps fight denials, treats you with respect, and helps you be informed and prepared for each step. Sadly, we don’t have a for doctors, but there is They’re not stellar, but like when searching for a job, a restaurant, or a date, reviews give you an idea of what you’re getting into beforehand. You can also reach out to support groups in your area. Along with online resources like and our Facebook group, fellow advocate Connie Welch has compiled an excellent resource list.

Second quest: Patience

Yea, I’m sorry. Like anything else, it can take a lot of time to find the perfect doc, or even just a doc who works for you. For me, it took about ten years to find a solid GP, and it took thirteen to find a solid GI, and unfortunately they’re in two different hospital networks, so when push came to shove, I chose my GI. Research makes this wait a lot shorter, because you can sort out bad bedside manner quickly. It also makes you thankful that doctor review websites are more like and less like Tinder. For a medical professional, shared interests should pique at saving my life over something like liking Taylor Swift’s new album.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.