Advocate for Yourself

Advocate for Yourself

Doctors are very busy, seeing sometimes dozens of patients in a single day.  For us patients, this is not an ideal situation, because we know the doctors we see do not usually have the focus on us that we would like.  Because of this, it is more important than ever to be your own fiercest advocate.  Busy doctors can easily overlook an important clue or factor in your medical care, so it is up to you to arm yourself with knowledge to be sure you get the best care possible.

Now, I am not saying you should question everything your doctor says and does, but you should take it upon yourself to research and understand any new procedures, medications or diagnoses.  Reputable sources like Medscape.com, which is a source my own doctor uses, can help you understand your medical condition or concerns and will tell you what you need to know about tests and procedures.

The goal of researching on your own is not to replace your doctor.  There is simply no way you can gain the knowledge and understanding that your doctor has, unless you go to medical school and endure all the rigorous training and internships they do.  Researching on your own is meant to help supplement the doctor’s knowledge and help you to better understand what is going on with your own body.

If ever you feel that a treatment, test or procedure is not the right choice, ask your doctor to explain why they made that choice.  If you don’t look out for your own health, who will?  Being well informed – and reasonable with your doctor – will go a long way toward ensuring your health and wellbeing.