A good endocrinologist?

Thumbnail image for stethoscope and ophthalmoscopeBecky emails:

I'm hoping some readers can help me out here. I see a doctor at the Endocrine Group on Washington Ave in Albany (I would rather not say which one) for my hypothyroid condition and am really unhappy with his care. He's really brief with me and working with some outdated information. I hope this isn't a long-shot -- can anyone recommend a really good endocrinologist who is especially good at dealing with thyroid issues?

We get doctor questions fairly often, and it's notable how much personality/bedside manner/whatever you call it matters. It makes total sense -- the last thing you want when you're feeling sick or uncertain is to deal with someone who doesn't appear to be listening or just isn't friendly.

So, got a doctor to suggest to Becky? Please share! And if you do, please include a line or two about why you like that doctor or practice.

photo: Flickr user a.drian (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Comments

Healthgrades is always a good place to start:

http://www.healthgrades.com/diabetes-metabolism-endocrinology-directory/ny-new-york/albany

Dr. Sara Clark at AMC. She specializes in Diabetes and metabolism. She is lovely.

I have Hashimoto's and after firing 8 endocrinologist over 10 years I have stuck with Mart Luidens, M.D. With te Albany Med Endo Group. She listens and doesn't just treat numbers. I feel best when my TSH is around .1-.3 and despite labs saying that makes me "hyper" I feel asymptomatic. Good luck. It is a battle to find a good one.

Dr. Jessie Block at AMC. She is great - I have been seeing her for almost 10 years for hypothyroid as a result of Grave's Disease. She has great bed side manner and will even call you back herself!

I enthusiastically second Dr. Jessie Block. I also initially began my care for papillary thyroid cancer at the Endocrine group, but didn't appreciate the paternal treatment I was given post-op. I've been seeing Dr. Block for more than 10 years and I love her. She's the only doctor who begins my annual visit with a hug.

I recently was told that I had PCOS and Hypothyroidism. I saw Dr. Eileen Hogan at Albany Memorial. She used to be with the Endocrine Group as well. She was incredibly thorough and explained things to me in detail. She was also very proactive.
I've also heard good things about Jill Abelseth who works in the same practice (used to be with Endocrine Group, but left to be on her own).

I have been seeing Dr. Sharon Tietgens at the Endocrine Group for 15 years and I think she is fantastic. She takes a lot of time with me every time I visit, even though I just come in for routine thyroid testing once a year. The only downside with her being so thorough is that she usually runs behind on her appointments. I've found if I take the first appointment of the day, I'm able to avoid most of the waiting.

I'm the one who asked the original question - thanks for the replies! I am making notes of all the names listed and will do a little research and see if I can find a better fit than the current doctor. I am also trying to get pregnant, so (and I should have asked this in my first question) if any of these doctors are experienced in reproductive endocrinology, all the better.

Jamie - thank you, I know about Healthgrades. The problem with checking there is that they don't have comments on doctors, and the listing of endocrinologists there seems far from exhaustive. The doctor I'm currently seeing isn't listed, for instance. If he was, I'd give him a (low) rating.

Silvia - paternal treatment is really the perfect description for how the doctor at the Endocrine Group treats me - well, that, and brusque. Interesting how a few suggestions here are for doctors who used to be at TEG and no longer are, though I don't know if that's indicative of anything bigger.

All of the suggestions seem to be for doctors who take their time with patients, listen, work with their patients rather than dismiss their concerns, and try to find a workable solution. I so appreciate having some good names to look into. Thanks again!

I would not recommend the 6 month wait to see Dr Block if you are a patient who does not want a Dr to base their decisions almost entirely off of TSH levels. She has a great bedside manner, but very old school in treatment of hypothyroidism. If you are seeking a provider who is open to discussing your symptoms as well as taking your lab results into account AND a provider who is willing to prescribe something other than T4 only - you are in for quite a search in the Albany area. I am also searching for a provider who truly understands thyroid disease. So far I have not found an endo in the Capital Region who does.

I am new to the Albany area and have PCOS, I am thinking about seeing Dr. Robert Busch, has anyone had any experiences with him? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Also does anyone with PCOS, have any experience with the medicine Qsymia?

Thanks 😊

Someone wondered whether there is a systemic problem with The Endocrine Group, and I say there is. I'm seeing a doctor there because I used to see him when he was on his own. In his prior practice, he spent lots of time with me. Now, he is officially allotted 15 minutes with me, but actually spends 5 to 7; I assume due to paperwork he may do after each patient. I am thinking of going elsewhere, because although this doctor is friendly and pleasant, he clearly is no longer able to provide the same service at the Endocrine Group. The whole office has the feeling of "rush, rush, rush", in my opinion.

I have had a TERRIBLE experience at The Endo Group. The external appointment maker and assistant to William Stockelin I one of the most inept employees I've ever encountered. They scheduled an appointment for an uptake and scan. When I called the office who was to perform the tests, they had only received the request the afternoon before I was to be scheduled. After taking some time to figure out my next step, I called the office back to request a new appointment, only to be told I had already missed two appointments and she was unsure if he would see. Mind you these were appointments I was never made aware of.

Additionally, the office feels like a human factory.

Becky--did you ever find a doctor you are happy with? I'm in the same situation and struggling to find a decent endocrinologist. I tried contacting Mary Luidens but evidently she has left Albany Med and they wouldn't give me any information on where she is now. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I am new to the Saratoga area and have a member of the family with PCOS,...does anyone have a referral?

I've switched from endo group to AMC Dr.Sara Clark I highly recommend her she is extremely thorough and caring.

I, too, am looking for an endocrinologist who doesn't diagnose by lab numbers alone, but also takes into account how the patient is feeling. It's a tall order, apparently. Everyone's shared experiences are valuable for those of us still searching. Thank you.

I'm looking for a doctor who will work more with how my body feels than what my levels are. My GP is currently caring for my hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, but I'm at the high end of TSH and have been saying for quite some time that I feel off and want more tests or to try changing meds, but because I'm in "range" she won't try anything else.

Sarah Clark at Albany Med Endocrin Group

I had a Total Thyroidectomy due to Graves' Disease when I was a teen, and had terrible experience at Albany Med & at Endocrine Group. I travel to Cooperstown, to Bassett Hospital. *Any* of the doctors out there are really excellent. They spend a lot of time with you (I mean, like half an hour, sometimes more). They book out a few months for appointments, but trust me, the wait and the drive are both worth it. I am on Armour Thyroid, and it's nearly impossible to find doctors who will prescribe that. Best of luck, and I hope this helps.

I had heard of Sarah Clark also but was just wondering if she treats the symptoms not the numbers? My daughter has every symptom of thyroid issues and has been told she has insulin resistance but the 2 Doctors that I brought her too said she is only borderline..Not much they can do..Just keep doing what you are doing.. Are you kidding me? I brought her to so many nutritionists and dietitians who tell her to eat like a weight watcher diet with the carbs and pasta and just a multi vitamin.. She has loss so much hair, is always tired no matter how much she sleeps,her elbows and knuckles are so dry and different color, she exercises (almost too much) and eats healthy lo carb diets has PCOS and had surgery on her ovaries already and is so true to commitment of getting healthy and no matter how hard she tries, she gains weight and has a skin disorder called acanthosis nigricans at 12yrs when she wasn't a 1 lb.overweight. She recently moved to Albany and is getting married and she is trying to do the right things to get healthy and not matter what it gets worse. I think she just gets so stressed and depressed from trying so hard and people look at her like she is sneaking food.. Anyone knows someone who knows a Doctor who treats the symptoms and not just the numbers? You will be our hero! Thanks for reading..

I was diagnosed within the last few years with hypothyroidism, which seems to be a family issue with the women in my family. My primary doctor is awesome, but this issue with my thyroid has become serious and since I also suffer with an extreme case of Anorexia, major depression, PTSD, etc., etc., and have been finally removed from a lifetime of family domestic violence, I need help getting on track with better med monitoring - I’ve basically been “off” appropriate thyroid meds for a significant period of time and it’s affected me negatively. I have a ton of other specialists for everything else, and now several say it’s urgent to call an endocrinologist. I’ve been referred to Sara Clark, and it’s ver my urgent... How long a wait? What do I do in between?

I just saw Dr.Shawa as a first time patient at the AMC office and he seems very attentive and precise . He spent a long time with me. If you call the main number at (518) 262-5185 they can tell you which of their endocrinologists has the next available appointment. The blood lab and ultrasound machine were located in the same office , so it saved me several trips to get blood work and scans done. I was in and out in an hour.

Good luck finding an endo in the Albany area that treats on symptoms not just labs! I've been looking forever. Most recent endo Dr. Jalaja Joseph out of AMC treats strictly by labs. Doesn't matter what your symptoms are. She was nice, but that doesn't help treat your thyroid. I think you have to find an individual outside of these large groups as they seem to have very specific rules their docs must follow. Like Christine said above, I've heard good things about the docs at Bassett in Cooperstown. May have to try there.

I've come across this thread of conversation and the dates range from 2016 to 2018, so I hope I'm not too out of it to ask if there have been any new 'discoveries' regarding a good endocrinologist to treat hypothyroidism in the Capital Region, or even as far away as Cooperstown. I have also had a very negative experience with a doctor at the Endocrine Group. Thank you.

Dr. James Figge - out of Waterford but goes to East Greenbush - he knows his stuff and he is not cut-happy. Knows what he is talking about - dealt with radiation victims from Chernobyl meltdown in Russia.

Sharon Tietgens has been my pcp/endocrinologist since 1994. I have always, and continue, to find her very medically astute, but also very kind and compassionate. She is a thorough listener and has always taken my views and wishes into consideration. I feel we make decisions together. I, too am hypothyroid, secondary to ablation for Graves. Dr. T is always willing to communicate via the portal in between visits. I’ve always had a response within 24 hours.

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