I had been seeing one in Iowa, and was driving about 1 1/2 hours to see him. He kept blowing off all my symptoms, even the information I took in from the SAA. Finally, when my fevers of YEARS got so high and my anemia of YEARS got so bad that my endocrinologist (out of the same clinic/office -- a really big clinic) decided that if they didn't do something I might actually die, did this idiot decide that I should undergo a bunch of tests for "Fevers of Unknown Origin". I kept saying it was the AS. My endocrinologist basically agreed with me. So when nothing new was found, I finally got the referral I had been wanting for a second opinion -- to Mayo!!!
Of course, due to the type of letter my now FORMER rheum. sent, I had to have lots of things checked out, but that was okay, because they were very thorough. Many things were ruled out, some new things WERE found, but the main thing wrong: THE AS!!!
Man, I love to be right!!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. Moder has been wonderful. He really listens, he did a very thorough exam (all I have ever read about an AS exam should be, and my former rheum. never once did completely), and explains his thinking very clearly.
Now, he did explain that Mayo was sort of "dividing up" the different types of arthritis among the rheum., as to those who were specializing in which areas. He said some others were taking the AS groups, but it was up to patients if they felt they wanted to stay with their initial rheum. or move to the sub-specialists. I felt really comfortable with my Mayo experiences, and said I would be okay either way, with him or one of the AS doctors. But when I have gone back each time, I have seen Dr. Moder.
So the drive of 3 hours is VERY WELL WORTH IT for me. I finally see some light at the end of the tunnel, even though I have suffered permanent damage from the AS when seeing the first rheum.
May you find the right doctor for you!