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Adrienne Dellwo

Poll: What Region Has the Best Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Doctors?

By January 21, 2011

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A good doctor can mean a world of difference in how well you're treated for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, but all too often, I hear from someone who's really scoured their area and has come up empty handed.

Over the past few years, I've noticed what appears to be certain trends -- people living in some parts of the U.S. really struggle to find a doctor who's not patently horrible to them, while people in other regions seem to have an easier time of it -- so I thought it was time to see if regional differences really do exist.

I decided to do this with 4 polls, one for each time zone. (If you don't know which time zone you're in, here's a map.) I've tried to divide up the time zones into logical areas, so we're not looking at too large a region. I'm sure in many cases I'm not using the terminology a local would use, so please forgive me for this!  If you're in a state that's split, look for the closest states in your time zone.

If you've been treated for fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome in more than one region, I'd love for you to take each relevant poll. Please, though, let's limit this to the past 10 years, since things have changed a lot in that time. If you want to elaborate on your experiences or observations, please leave a comment below!

For those of you outside the continental U.S., please leave a comment including which region of your country you're in and what your experience has been with doctors there.

Learn more or join the conversation!


January 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm
(1) anonymous says:

There are fibromyalgia doctors here, but no ME/CFS doctors. I thought there were (have even recommended some previously), but I have now talked to them again and verified that there are not.

I plan to fly to CA, MI, or NV to find an ME/CFS specialist.

January 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm
(2) anonymous says:

I’m sorry, I didn’t say where “here” was. :) There are no ME/CFS doctors in Southwest WA/ Northwest OR, and I’m not aware of any in the greater Pacific NW.

There are, however, some fibromyalgia doctors.

January 21, 2011 at 11:26 pm
(3) Kathy says:

That’s because we live in the middle of nowhere :-) Dr. Paul Brown in Seattle has a ton of resources, but no hookups in the Tri-Cities area. Dr. Penny Stringer is supposed to be the fibro angel here… Good luck!

March 21, 2011 at 9:38 am
(4) Ben says:

Where is Dr. Penny Stringer located. I have seen a location for both Richland and Kennewick. Thanks!

January 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm
(5) lloyd says:

Not to change the subject, but sometime I would like a discussion on the best place to live with fibromyalgia. Are place with less weather fluctuation more advantageous?

January 22, 2011 at 11:40 am
(6) JohnBit says:

Until such time as this disease is properly recognized (by the CDC, the NIH, etc.) and taught in medical schools, the chance of getting proper treatment anywhere in America is hit-or-miss at best.

I live in the Boston area – the medical Mecca of the world – and I can’t find a doctor that knows this disease and is willing to treat it.

Sure, my GP listens to what I say and has been helpful but his general response is, “I’ll refer you to any doctor you want, but you need to tell me who to refer you to”.

I think that all of us PWCs (person with CFS/ME) need to band together in some way to make a loud statement. Maybe we should all plan to withhold our 2011 taxes in protest. Then SOMEONE will see how many of us there are – strength in numbers. How else can we make a statement? Most of us can barely drag ourselves to the grocery store, let alone some sort of rally.

!#$% the CDC!

July 9, 2011 at 12:16 am
(7) april says:

I have had good success working with a naturopath that teaches at Bastyr University and a rhumatologist at the Seattle Arthritis Clinic. They do a lot of clinical research and were the first to tell me that sometimes pain does not have a cause you can find on an mri, and the pain is not “in my head”, and they took my pain seriously. Although I don’t live in Seattle (Snohomish) the drive to surrounding areas is worth it. Our family has always had excellent healthcare in Seattle if we “shopped” wisely and asked around- there are many choices! If only the climate was as wonderful- I love the green, the water and the mountains but the weather keeps me at the doctor’s office!:)

March 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm
(8) margaret says:

Hi all in the Pacific Northwest ( we are in Richland WA) We have been helping many with Fibro and CFS for years. Because it is a small integrated practice and we exist through ‘word of mouth’ you will not see us advertising for patients. Overall our experience is this. IF a person is willing to look at all the ‘traumas and imbalances in their life thus far’ really exploring what the effect on the physical body is, testing in an intelligent way to find the underlying causes, re balancing at a cellular (ATP=Energy and healing) level…well our success if quite remarkable. It takes time and is not a quick fix. Invest in yourself. learn about all of you…. give yourself what you need in a cost and time efficient way….and the body will respond in kind. We took all insurances and medicare for 14 years. Over the last 2 years it became more and more difficult to get paid for the time spent with the patient (gotta pay the staff and overhead) so we elected to go out of network in April 2011. We discount our fees by 30% and code so that you can get the best reimbursement from your insurance co. Make sure you have an out of network clause to get the most back. We give you our professional cost on all the testing and guide you as to what we have found works the best re nutritional support. We do physicals and trreat prenatal to 90 year olds. So hope this helps. Tammy is the best ‘right hand’ who can give you more info. Check the website or call 509-628-3060. If you remove or decrease what you do not need, and give yourself what you do…you will recover. We have seen this over and over. The healing lies within you. Look at TED.com and check out Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor. She gets it.

PS Once re see you and have a relationship with you, we so phone consults. Our patients are international as well as local. All of us need a team and good support! We are looking into Skype consults.

May 29, 2012 at 2:38 am
(9) Robin says:

I live in Chicago, and I feel I have gotten quite far with my treatment. I have attacked it from several angles, but I have to say that Dr. David Edelberg at Whole Health Chicago has had the best ideas and has prescribed the most beneficial medication. He has also written two books, which are worth the read. Additionally, my rheumatologist is Dr. G. Wendell Richmond (best of the best!!) at Asthma & Allergy Physicians in Hinsdale, IL. He takes his time to look at every minute detail to figure things out. My pain doctor is Dr. Andrew Hendrix at the Rehab Institute of Chicago. Unfortunately for me, he was promoted to Director of the Center for Pain Mgmt at RIC, so I have to build a relationship with a new physician there. My internist, who suggested I had fibro and referred me to a rheumatologist (not the one above), is THE BEST I’ve ever had. Her name is Dr. Dana Wood at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group. Lastly, Dr. Antonio Bifero at IIHW has been awesome with my alternative medicine treatments–acupuncture, chiro, myofascial work, vitamin therapy. He is a molecular biologist, so it helps that he understands illnesses from their root cause. The rest of my doctors are at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, and I am very happy with Northwestern, the Cadillac of healthcare.

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