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Get what you need from your health care

Our medical system is overloaded and that’ll only increase in future. All the more reason why we need to be adept at getting our needs met.

I wrote a version of this article five years ago, and it’s a conversation that can’t be had too often. It’s so easy to give away our power to ‘experts’, but here are four ways to take it back. 

Be proactive

There’s no such thing as a dumb question. If you don’t understand something, it probably hasn’t been explained clearly. Don’t be afraid of taking a list of questions and being intentional about getting answers.

Keep copies of your health and medical information. You’re entitled to have them, and if your health professional doesn’t offer them, ask.

Get second opinions and be willing to switch providers if your needs aren’t being met. For everyone who’s incompetent or hard to get on with there’s someone who’s both skilled and empathetic. You owe it to yourself to find the gems.

You have every right to use a combination of mainstream and complimentary (or ‘alternative’) approaches, so stand your ground or go elsewhere if a provider won’t cooperate with the way you want to do things.

Follow up. Be the squeaky wheel. If you have a hunch that something isn’t right, trust it.

Do your homework

Dr Google puts information at your fingertips so take advantage of it. Websites such as Mayo Clinic or WebMD will give you reliable information about medical conditions.

We’re all different and it pays to be observant. Notice how you react to a treatment, medication or supplement. Make your own notes. Patients often come to understand their conditions better than their health care providers do.

Take your time

Few decisions need to be made on the spot. Ask for more time if it feels like you’re being led down a path that doesn’t feel right.

Bring your mind

Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs play a huge role in our treatment. Be aware of them, and do everything you can to bring optimism, creativity and a positive approach to the process. 

The bottom line is that unless we’re active participants in our health care we can find ourselves being the victims of it. Be resourceful.



Photo Source: Bigstock


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Sunday, October 28, 2018 | Rhonda Anderson