Monday, June 21, 2010
It is critical that patients are truthful with their physicians. Hiding information from or misleading your health care provider not only has no benefit, it could have very serious consequences. Remember, your doctor works for you and anything you say in your doctor’s office is strictly confidential.
Make the most of the time allotted with your doctor. Prepare for your office visits in advance. Write down your questions for the doctor in advance. Maintain a notebook with your symptoms and diagnoses. Keep a continuously updated list of your medications in this book. Let your doctor read your notations and ask questions, if necessary, to obtain any additional information important to your care.
Remember, multiple concerns may require more than one visit. Prioritize your list of concerns. Follow up with your doctor as requested. And always communicate with the office if you are not progressing as expected
It is beneficial to have a significant other as an active participant in your health care. This can be a family member or friend. Make sure to include open and honest communication with this individual about what you are doing, how you are feeling, and what medications you are taking. Ideally this person, as part of your health care team, should go with you to your doctor visits. They can help you remember important information or instructions from your doctor that you may have forgotten.
Most people put off making a living will and power of attorney giving instructions on how you want to be treated in case you are unable to make your own decisions about you health care. Give a copy to your physician as well as the person who is your personal representative and health care advocate. Let family members know who this person is.
Become proactive and an active participant in your health. Studies show that this empowerment has healthful effects.