Finding “The One”: Qualities To Look For In A Chronic Pain Doctor

25273870 - red heart in human hands on blue sky backgroundYou’ve been dreaming about finding that special someone for a while now. The one who just gets you right away. You dream about how they’ll seamlessly understand what you’re going through and will know just how to make you feel better. You know they’ll be committed to your relationship and will stop at nothing to make you feel like a new woman. You haven’t met them yet, but you know they’re out there. And you won’t stop until you find this one person who will change it all – the perfect chronic pain doctor.

If you’ve ever had a doctor suggest that the pain and fatigue you’re feeling is “in your head,” you know how critical finding a good doctor is. It’s not only frustrating, but embarrassing and disheartening when a doctor doesn’t believe you. When you’re looking for that special doctor to help you through chronic pain, you don’t want to hear that it’s all in your head. You know you’re not just a crazy complainer. So if you find yourself in the presence of a doctor who suggests that it’s all in your head, RUN! Trust us, that special someone is out there. You just have to keep testing the waters until you find a doctor with the qualities you’re looking for.

Finding a doctor who gets you can be the key to successfully treating your disease. This is honestly why so many women with autoimmune diseases have to see tons of doctors before finding “the one.”

There are some specific qualities you should be looking for in your ideal chronic pain doctor.

1. They listen to your concerns, questions and complaints.

You don’t ever want to have a doctor who immediately assumes that they know everything about your disease. You should be looking for a doctor who asks you about every aspect of your life dealing with chronic pain. They should ask you questions, and then listen intently to your answers. They should be understanding when you tell them about your struggles and fears.

2. They already have experience with chronic pain, or similar illnesses.

It may be tempting to seek out your family doctor or the doctor’s office right around the corner. However, it’s often worth seeking out professionals who have spent a good portion of their career working with patients just like you. Do you research to see which doctors near you have working with chronic pain in the past. Who has done research? Seek recommendations from support groups and online forums to find those specialists.

3. You feel comfortable talking with them about anything and everything.

Oftentimes, you may meet with a world-renowned specialist. But if they’re intimidating or unfriendly, they’re not the doctor for you. Chronic pain isn’t something you can work through in one or two visits. You may be working with this doctor for years. So it’s incredibly important to find someone you can talk to and feel comfortable around.

4. You can tell they think long and hard about your chronic pain diagnosis and treatment.

If your doctor is going above and beyond to help you treat your disease, you can rest assured you’ve got a real winner. If they’re discussing your symptoms with other specialists or doing extra research about your illness, they’re taking this job seriously. This should be exactly what you’re looking for. Because you don’t want someone who is putting in half the effort. You never want to feel like another patient on an endless conveyor belt. No, you want to feel heard and important.

It may take a handful of first-dates with doctors before you find “the one.” But when you’re serious about treating your chronic pain, you want a doctor who will be equally as serious about helping you along the way. Don’t ever settle for a doctor who isn’t making you happy with how they’re treating your pain and fatigue. And if the relationship starts working for you, remember that you can always break up with them and look for someone new. We wish you the best of luck as you search for the one you’ve been waiting for. They’re out there, we promise.


About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This post contains opinions of the author. is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances.  Camino Real Ventures, Inc., the company that makes available to you, does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website.  Your use of the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy



  1. In response to your article on finding the “right one” while searching for pain management. You may want to add some information about Dr. Shopping. People need to know that it can be considered “dr. Shoppin” for the purpose of finding pain pills and that in some states is illegal.

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