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Life Planning and Independence

Having a Good Doctor Visit

Every doctor is different, but it’s important to find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable, respects you, and doesn’t intimidate you.

In the best of all possible worlds you and your doctor would work to keep you as healthy as possible. It’s worth a search, maybe even a fight with your insurance company, to find a doctor-partner. You also have to learn to do your part preparing for appointments by writing things down, and by being as clear as you can.

Getting Ready for Your Visit
 Preparing for an MRI
MRI is painless and requires no physical preparation (such as fasting), but it can be intimidating if you aren't prepared for it. It is helpful and reassuring to know what to expect.
 Review of Regular Medications and
A form to keep track of prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, herbals, vitamins, or other dietary supplements
Finding a Doctor
Choosing the Right Health-Care Provider
Always remember that you are the consumer. If you have trouble understanding the provider, or feel rushed or disrespected, trust your instincts

We Can Help
National MS Society chapters can refer you to a range of local health-care providers who understand MS and to clinics where people with MS find the quality medical care they need.

Treatment Locations
Clinical facilities with a formal affiliation with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS Healthcare Professionals
While some people with MS have access to comprehensive care teams, made up of health professionals from different disciplines who address the whole spectrum of care, others utilize individual practitioners in their community.
Dr. Aaron Miller examines Diane Stephenson.

Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the National MS Society, Dr. Aaron Miller, examines Diane Stephenson.


Before You Call For an Appointment...

Review your health insurance plan to be clear about what your plan will or won't cover, especially if you choose to go out of network.

Consider transportation issues. Traveling a long way to see the right health-care provider is often an intelligent investment. However, it's wise to think through the costs in money, fatigue, and stress on family members.


Be an Informed Patient

Just the Facts

9 Myths About MS

Glossary of MS terms


MS and Something Else

The best way to manage two conditions is to make your primary care physician an integrated part of your health-care team. Many people with MS plus another disease see only specialists. There may be many reasons for this, including doctor fatigue. Read more on managing a dual diagnosis

Patient Bill of Rights   Patient Bill of Responsibilities

To be treated with respect.

To have and to express my feelings and opinions.

To be listened to and to be taken seriously.

To set my own priorities.

To say no without feeling guilty.

To ask for what I want.

To get what I pay for.

To ask for information.

To make mistakes.

To choose not to assert myself.

To change my mind.

To keep scheduled appointments.

To be honest with the doctors and other health-care workers.

To give information about my experience and condition as clearly and briefly as possible.

To respect the doctors and health-care workers.

To understand that no one has all the answers to MS.

To follow the treatment plan agreed upon.

Last updated December 1, 2006