3 ways to get the healthcare you deserve
For the best possible medical care, keep these two words in mind: Speak up.
“Doctors certainly know a lot about medicine,” says Donna Raziano, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Mercy Home Health. “But they may not know enough about you to give you truly appropriate care unless you tell them.”
Here’s how to communicate effectively for your health:
Tell all. Be candid about your symptoms, medical history, habits and health concerns. “You won’t get the help you need if your doctor or other provider is in the dark,” Dr. Raziano says.
Ask questions. “You’re not bothering your doctor; you’re getting the information you need to take better care of yourself,” Dr. Raziano says. You might want to ask:
- What is my diagnosis? What does it mean for my future?
- How should I take my meds? What are the side effects?
- Will I need a test? What will the results tell me?
- What are my treatment options?
- Do I need to change my daily routine?
- Could home health services help me recover?
- Can you explain my condition as simply as possible?
- If you don’t understand the answer, keep asking until you do.
Clarify. Repeat the doctor’s advice using your own words. And at the end of the visit, take a few moments to review what the two of you agreed on.
Remember: You are your own best advocate, and taking an active role in your care is one way to ensure that you and your doctor are working together to improve your health.