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Urology/IC exam for low-income


Hello, Doctor...
I'm asking this on behalf of a friend (true - not me).  
I believe, based on her symptoms, she very well could have IC.  Due to the fact she is low-income and can only go to certain clinics, she can't get adequate financial / referral help to see a specialist.  Any urine tests have been negative for bladder infection.  This has been going on quite some time.  
I am not sure if urethritis has been ruled out, but I believe so, as well as other gynecological
possibilities.  Do you know how someone in this position can get an exam with low-income?
Apparently she can't even find sliding scale physicians (urologists).  She is in a lot of pain, has tried Prelief, dietary changes, etc.  I personally feel an exam inside the bladder is needed, but again, the cost.  
Any suggestions would be most appreciated.


Your issue is cost, not medical.  Interstitial cystitis is a very difficult problem to diagnose and treat.  There is no single, specific diagnostic test that confirms it.  How to obtain urological services for low income is a problem.  Start by looking for university urology training programs.  They will often have resident clinics and working up a difficult problem like this is a good educational exercise for new urologists.  There may be some other free clinics or federal assisted facilities that can offer some assistance.  

Next try your county and state medical societies.  They may know of other resources available.  Check with the local urological association; in your city and the state organization.  Good luck.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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