Are you visiting your doctor in order to turn responsibility for your health and happiness over to him or her? This is a mistake, you are in charge. Doctors should provide you with information to help you make informed choices about your health but ultimately you are responsible for your care and the treatments you choose.
I often feel intimidated in the doctor’s office. They seem so knowledgeable and wise that I often forget I am the person paying and defer to their wisdom without asking any questions only later to realize I don’t understand side effects to medication I’ve been prescribed or alternate treatment options I should have considered first. Below is a list that you should keep with you at the doctor’s office and make sure each point has been covered before you walk out the door.
A Good Doctor Will:
- Explain clearly all information regarding your health condition.
- Explain all available treatment options.
- Explain all benefits associated with each treatment option.
- Explain all risks associated with each treatment option including long term effects or potential surgical complications.
- Explain alternative therapies you may want to explore before considering prescription medications or surgeries.
- Explain what will happen if you decide not to pursue treatment.
If your doctor has no knowledge of alternative therapies do some research on your own. There is some truth to some old wives tales. The internet is a wonderful source of information. You owe it to yourself to do some research remember you are responsible for your health.
Once you have all the information above you can make good decisions about your health. However, you may still want to get a second opinion, multiple opinions never hurt anyone. You may balk at the idea of paying for a second doctor visit but ultimately your health is just as important if not more so than your money. And remember the responsibility for your health is yours not your doctors. Think of it this way; you are the CEO of your health and your doctor is your paid consultant that gives you information but the final decisions are yours.
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