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On the chance that someone here can offer a referral or advice, I'm looking for a trauma-informed medical doctor who can be my wife's Primary Care Physician. She is 39 years old and has gone without medical care for over 27 years as a result of her childhood trauma which involved severe neglect and long-term social isolation. I need to find a physician who is willing to communicate with me before her first appointment so I can fully explain her condition and what kind of approach will best work for her.

We are in California with the ability to seek services in either the San Francisco Bay or Los Angeles area. A female doctor is greatly preferred who is not only trauma-informed but ideally experienced in working with patients with severe doctor phobia and special needs regarding communication difficulties. Basically, my wife will most likely be mute during the appointment and require me to communicate with the doctor on her behalf. So it will be more like a parent bringing in a child or a caregiver bringing in a disabled person with limited communication abilities than an appointment with a normal patient. In fact, someone in the field of child abuse pediatrics who also treats adults would probably be the best kind of doctor for her.

I'm just looking for someone with the necessary sensitivity to allow her to get the care she needs after avoiding doctors for so long because of her fear of people. I'm also looking for a dentist who can accommodate her in this way as well. She has not had dental care for the past 27 years either. I have posted this message on the various California ACES groups in addition to the main forum, so I apologize if you're seeing this more than once. Thanks!

Original Post

Dear Chris,

I just saw your request and that you posted this question perhaps a year ago. Seeing no other comments I wanted to check in to see if you've found good care with someone who can connect well with your wife.

I was once a family doctor and ended up retraining as a trauma therapist and specializing in chronic illness. If additional support is helpful I'd suggest your wife get support for healing some of these effects of trauma she has around events from childhood as they could make it easier for her to navigate in the world, including in relationships with health care professionals. It could help with symptoms too.

I blog about the research linking trauma with chronic illness (it's also relevant to many other kinds of symptoms) and have created a list of books and therapies for healing the effects of nervous system responses to trauma. It's a place to start or from which to get more support if that would be helpful. In addition, some of the therapists might know local health care professionals who are trauma informed.

I wish you both all the best on this journey.


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