Posts Tagged ‘patient advocate’

A Common Goal

June 12, 2009

Triage, the health care blog of the Chicago Tribune, has a post about patients who don’t stand up for themselves. Especially if you have a Chronic Illness, you may unconsciously put yourself into an especially compliant position because you rely on the doctor for so much. If your illness gets out of your control your life gets out of control, and it is tempting just to say “Yes, doctor, No, doctor, May I have another pill please, Doctor?”

You shouldn’t wimp out at the doctor’s office, but you shouldn’t turn every instruction you receive into the SALT II arms negotiations, either. Work with your doctor rather than against him, and try to hit a happy balance. The Happy Hospitalist gives us tips on how to be a better patient, and one of his suggestions is “Ask questions.”

Study, to show thyself approved,” the scriptures say, and it works just as well in healthcare as it does in Theology. Your doctor sees many more patients than just you, and he can’t keep current with all the medical literature relevant to your situation. Get a medical dictionary (Search your local Goodwill store or eBay, those are probably the best places to look) and read the books and reports yourself. It will be difficult at first, but get easier with time.

But please, make the information relevant to your situation and don’t greet your doctor by waving a stack of computer printouts at him. You’ve been on the Internet for an hour or so; he’s been in Medical School for 8 years and quite possibly more. Printouts = insult!