How To Be A Good Medical Consumer

How To Be A Good Medical Consumer

By Statepoint

 

 

 

StatePoint) Getting good medical attention for you and your family is about more than simply going to the doctor when you aren’t feeling well. It’s about planning for a healthy life and learning how to be an informed medical consumer. Your decisions affect more than just you, because the right choices can protect your family for generations to come, according to experts. “A recent study found that families are more likely to slip into poverty after the death of a primary breadwinner to cancer,” says Virgil Simons, president and CEO of The Prostate Net. “So being a good healthcare consumer isn’t just about taking care of yourself; it’s about caring for your family as well.” {{more}}Come Prepared Whether we like it or not, healthcare has become more bureaucratic in recent years, but the smart healthcare consumer knows to come prepared to manage the system, with an understanding of the problems and concerns they have and questions they want to have answered. They should bring a family member or a friend to help “hear” the doctor’s responses and required actions, if any. Do Your Homework Familiarizing yourself with your symptoms and possible conditions can help you understand a doctor’s diagnosis and suggestions for care. However, make sure you get your information from reliable sources, whether online or in print, such as ProstateNet.org, which links patients to providers for information about prevention, treatment and successful survival. The site’s new Symposium page gives users free access to recorded videos of their regional medical conferences, which provides information from physicians and researchers as to the best standard of care. Doctors Aren’t Psychics Your doctor will likely ask a multitude of questions during your visit, but that doesn’t mean he or she can read your mind. Take an active role in your care by asking questions, taking notes, knowing your family’s history, and detailing any medications, vitamins or supplements that you take. “Good consumers get better care because they’ve done their homework,” says Simons. “They’ve come prepared, make the doctor aware of their health needs or goals and encourage a partnership between the doctor, themselves and their families for the best standard of care. It’s the best path to receiving good medical care and making good decisions to protect your family.”