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From the founder:

Several years ago, my uncle in Chicago developed Parkinson disease. He began treatment under the care of a board certified neurologist, but did not improve.

Dissatisfied with the neurologist, our family decided to find a new doctor. But who?

Although I am a physician, I am not a neurologist and have never lived in Chicago. I therefore knew no neurologists there, let alone a good one.

It took me some time to remember that a cardiologist friend was on the staff of a major Chicago teaching hospital. I called him up, told him my uncle's situation, and asked if he knew of a local neurologist with a special interest in Parkinson disease. My friend did not immediately know, but called back in a few days to say that, after asking around his hospital, he had indeed found someone having a special interest in the disease.

What happened next surprised me, even though I had seen it innumerable times before in academic medicine. The neurologist with the special interest in Parkinson disease saw my uncle and discovered that he did not have Parkinson disease after all, but a similar and, unfortunately, more difficult condition to treat.

The news was simultaneously disappointing and reassuring. It was disappointing because my uncle was not going to get better. But it was reassuring because the new neurologist's patient, thorough evaluation, in which he had seen something overlooked by other physicians, gave the family confidence that he could be trusted with the care of my uncle. This lifted a very large burden from us.

I thought frequently about this incident as time passed. I thought of my good fortune to know people like my friend in Chicago, who, in turn, knows good people. But, of course, I am a physician, "plugged in" to the medical establishment. Had I not been, my options would have been appallingly limited.

The idea for Expertscape grew out of this experience. There is no reason that physicians should have a monopoly on knowing who the experts are.

Of course, there are many qualities besides expertise that make a great physician, and each of us values different qualities differently. Expertscape, therefore, is only a way to get started in your search for a great doctor. Speaking personally, however, I believe that knowledge is the most powerful weapon available to fight serious disease, and it's what I look for first.

I hope Expertscape helps you. Send us your stories about Expertscape. With your permission, we may print them here. Best of luck.