How to Become an Educated Patient
TUESDAY, Aug. 7, 2018 -- Emergency treatment rarely allows you much time to consider your options. But what about care that can be done on your timetable?
There are many tools available to help you understand the pros and cons of nearly any procedure and -- through an open discussion with your health-care provider -- determine what's best for you.
Research shows that using decision-making tools helps in many circumstances, such as when there's more than one accepted treatment option, when no one option has an obvious advantage, and when each option has pros and cons that could affect you differently.
Become an educated patient by using pamphlets, videos and other online resources from recognized health organizations. These tools will improve your knowledge, help you determine what's most important to you (such as whether the potential outcome outweighs any risks), provide you with more accurate expectations, and let you feel more confident about your decisions.
If you're unsure of where to get the information you need, ask your doctor's office for resources. The governing bodies of nearly all medical specialties are good starting points, and almost all have websites you can access, as do the many branches of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Remember that you have the right to get a second and even a third opinion if what you find out conflicts with your first doctor's recommendation. Also, talk to a representative from your medical insurance company to fully understand whether these options are covered and what happens if the second opinion provider is out-of-network.
With the changing face of health care, it's never been more important to become your own advocate. Education is the key.
© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: August 2018
Read this next
FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2020 -- Active older adults -- cancer survivors included -- are in better physical and mental health than their sedentary peers, a new study finds. More regular...
THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 -- If Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is repealed, pediatric cancer patients could lose critical insurance coverage, a new study warns. Kids...
By Michael Precker American Heart Association News WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Centuries before bacon cheeseburgers, cigarettes and couch...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
- Monthly Update Archive
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.