How to Find a Voice Physician: Pathways to Voice Care
Within the Voice Profession
Check with fellow or area professionals: teachers, preachers, TV/radio announcers, singers, voice teachers, singing coaches, and voice students.
Check with music schools in your area, church choirs, and singing groups.
Within the Medical Professions
Check with your primary care physician (PCP) as to where he would go for voice problems or where he would send his relatives.
Check with medical centers in your area.
Check with the Otolaryngological (ENT) Departments/Divisions in your area hospital or medical center.
Check with Neurology Departments/Divisions – or specialized clinics for stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc. – in your area hospital or medical center. Neurology patients with strokes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc., also have voice problems.
Within the Voice Care Professions
Check with voice specialists in your area:
Voice physician or laryngologist
Speech and language pathologist
Check with established voice centers and their websites for referral sites in your area.
Check with professional organizations and their websites for referrals in your area.
Among Patients Themselves
Check with other individuals who have had voice problems or similar voice problems.
Check with other patients in the waiting room!
Harnessing the Internet
AT THIS TIME, NOT ALL RECOGNIZED VOICE PHSYICIAN SPECIALISTS MAY HAVE WEBSITES.
SINCE WEBSITES ARE IN CONSTANT FLUX – new ones getting developed; established ones changing – SEARCH STRATEGIES CAN BE MORE HELPFUL THAN LISTS OF SPECIFIC SITES.
Check the medical literature, Web-based information sites.
Be critical of websites that have commercial links or gains.
Medical publications are valued for the information about the voice disorder and are recognized as an indicator of peer-reviewed medical expertise.
NOTE however, that the number of a doctor’s publications is not the sine qua non of clinical expertise – there are outstanding private practice physicians who do not publish.
Three most helpful key words tested in searches specific for voice disorders:
IMPORTANT: Discuss the information with your primary care physician, a physician friend, or your voice doctor – patient-doctor communication is key to successful health care.
When Faced With Choice of Several Voice Doctors, Questions That Could Help Determine Which Voice Expert Is Best for You
If you already have a diagnosis, information regarding your voice disorder can help you assess the doctor who will work well with you. Discussions with your PCP can help.
Is the doctor’s competence for your particular voice disorder, or voice disorders in general, recognized by his medical peers?
Does the doctor network well with your PCP? With local physicians? With own patients?
Who make up the voice care team?Speech-language pathologist? Voice therapist? Neurologist? Nurse? Do the voice care team members network well with patients?
What special tests are done in the voice clinic or center? What kinds of equipment are used for viewing the voice box? Specifically, laryngoscopy? Stroboscopy? (For more information, see Laryngoscopy/Stroboscopy.)
Does the doctor have phonomicrosurgical experience? Expertise? (For more information, see Phonomicrosurgery.)
Will the doctor discuss medical second opinions with you or your PCP and help clear up issues and unanswered questions?
For long term care – does the doctor value patient information and/or patient-doctor communication?
Patient education material presented here does not substitute for medical consultation or examination, nor is this material intended to provide advice on the medical treatment appropriate to any specific circumstances.