London-based Consultant Rheumatologist, practicing at The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, London, in all areas of Rheumatology, with a subspecialty expertise in Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue / Hypermobility Syndromes.
After my health deteriorated and had effected my work, due to things beyond my control, EDS ,collapses and other medical reasons. I had a follow up appointment with Dr Hakim, as the doctors were not giving me the answers if it was related to EDS, and my work were rather concerned. Dr Alan Hakim is one of the most supportive, understanding, empathetic, honest, humble, funny, doctors you will ever meet as a doctor, He is very experienced a gentleman and is very aware of the patients needs, especially when it come to EDS. He will always put your needs and requirements first. sometimes with EDS, some doctors, can find it hard to connect the symptoms, due to the amount of symptoms. He took one look at me, and said i didn't look well. I was quite literally falling asleep on his desk in his office , exhausted, dizzy, brain fog, finding it even hard to talk and put sentences together,memory issues Which isn't me at all. Dr Hakim was very empathetic and kept smiling and remained calm.. He got me sorted, and helped me to understand, what needed to be done, emailed me to confirm everything and rang one of my consultants and confirmed everything with via email as my friend (as i wasn't well) checked my email the next day. With EDS each patient has their own way of dealing with it....things like EDS and other complications, i suppose I try to keep going and keep smiling keep strong and put on a front, because you want a moment of normality and then you have to accept in these moments of decline and deterioration, its doctors like Dr Hakim that get you the right treatment, so then you can be comfortable again :) I hope this shows by once case , how calm, collected, humble, empathetic, caring, understanding Dr Hakim is, and how that he is a great doctor, in clinical and translation medicine care. In every appointment i have had with him, not matter what type of appointment, he always makes sure you leave happy, comfortable, with the right information, and tries his best i highly recommend him. Thanks for helping me Dr Hakim......i truly appreciated your help that day. .
Like many patients who suspect EDS, I have had some terrible experiences with primary and secondary health care professionals. Years of soft tissue injuries, disc problems, autonomic dysfunction and chronic, debilitating pain, which have been largely ignored. Even when I managed to get a referral to an NHS Rheumatologist, and arrived armed with prints outs from the HMSA and EDS websites, they were dismissed. I was literally at my wits-end, not least because all three of my now grown children, have the same problems; it was this that led me to Dr Hakim. There was an awful lot to fit in the one hour appointment, and this was a challenge, but Dr Hakim did his best to read the (copious) notes I took along with me, detailing my own and family history. He could see instantly how the pieces of the jigsaw fitted together, and despite my huge levels of anxiety about the appointment, I can honestly say, I only wish I had seen him years ago. Dr Hakim diagnosed hEDS, with a crossover into Classical. I felt my experiences were validated at last. Dr Hakim has written a report detailing the diagnosis and most helpfully, which elements of my symptoms would be related to EDS and which would likely not. He also provided recommendations for referrals through the NHS, as well as a private referral to the Physiotherapy team at St John and St Elizabeth, which have been most useful, and they are now trickling through. This is so important in terms of regaining as much functioning as possible, and also, to prevent/manage issues down the line. In terms of suggestions, the only thing I would offer is added time. Perhaps an extended appointment, or time allocated for a follow up? Dr Hakim is literally the only health professional I have ever met with knowledge of EDS and as it's multi-systemic, like others suffers, there are a range of issues; having the ability to discuss these with someone in the know, after a lifetime of dismissal, is just marvellous. That said, I do have an open appointment, which is fabulous, and I will no doubt, make an appointment again, once progress has been made with the referrals, and I have a full account of any further concerns or questions I might have. In short, Dr Hakim is very personable, approachable and knowledgable. We need more like him, and I personally think we should clone him! :-) Through the HMSA and EDS social media based support groups, I frequently recommend that others who suspect HMSD/EDS and are struggling with their health care, see him. He is marvellous and I know my thoughts echo that of others in the EDS community who have seen him. My only additional wish, would be a dedicated follow up, or additional time. My past experiences mean I worry terribly when dealing with health professions, but Dr Hakim put me at ease. He listened, he understood and after 46 years of issues, he confirmed where others have ignored; my issues are linked and real. We need more experts in this vastly misdiagnosed and misunderstood field. I would and do, highly recommend Dr Hakim.
Thank you very much for this feedback. I thought it might help readers if I add comment regarding follow up. I am more than happy to see anyone for a follow up, but for the majority of my patients the need for further assessments by my colleagues and introduction of physical treatments means an 'open appointment' works better in the first instance. My patients will know that as well as discussing things in clinic, I follow up in different ways - telephone, email, Skype etc. - particularly if someone lives a distance from London and travel is difficult or impractical. Even if there are results of investigations to discuss or new medications to review, many of my patients prefer the option of a phone call or email etc. Colleagues within our team will liaise with me as well, seeking further advice on my patients as needs be. Also I make it clear at the end of my letters to General Practice colleagues that I am more than happy to discuss things with them too. In light of the comment in the Review I did a quick count of my clinic appointments. In the last 12 months 30% of my patients came back to see me for follow-up for one reason or another. So, I hope this reassures the reader and the reviewer that anyone who wishes to see me again can (subject to their private health insurer policy, if applicable). My clinic is set up for 30 minute and 1 hour follow-ups to accommodate individual requirements, and patients need only contact me or my clinic administrator to set this up.
I can not sing Dr Hakim's praises enough! My experience with doctors in the past has not been the best. I went into this appointment with a closed mind. Dr Hakim quickly changed that with being someone who actually listened, who didn't brush off my fears and who took the time to explain things.I didn't feel like I had to rush or get all my words out at once. I took a list of my symptoms and I genuinely believe that anything he questioned was to clarify, not doubt. I would recommend, absolutely. He has given me a diagnosis and hope for the future.
Never have I seen a more caring warm and kind Doctor as Dr Hakim (and I have seen many!). He was fully approachable and happy to listen to all my comments. I felt he was very thorough and I believe I am in great hands.
I'm not the kind of person to leave a review unless I'm very moved; As a person; Alan is very empathetic and listens. We found him to be very courteous and a genuine nice person. As a professional; he's absolutely brilliant. By far the best healthcare professional (across all grades and specialisms) I've personally ever came across and my partner feels the same way. Thank you again Dr. Hakim :)
Short link to review Dr Alan Hakim: http://iwgc.net/eekm4