Picking your physician is alot like dating. What are your standards?
Physicians: They can represent a godsend or a nightmare when it comes to understanding a new medical condition. Check out these 5 things you can do when it comes to seeking a new physician for your newly diagnosed disease or condition.
(1) Can you set me up?: You need to find a specialist for your recently diagnosed condition. Ask your primary care provider about the top 3 specializing physicians they would recommend. Research each of them and also schedule an appoitnment with each before you settle on one. Remember, you choose the physician; he does not choose you.
(2) This is not your Millionaire’s lifeline: Your new doctor has a responsibility, not only treat you, but to educate you. He can’t educate you, if you don’t ask questions. This is not a “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” lifeline limitation! Tip: If your doctor does not take the time to answer all your questions on the first visit, then find a new doctor. But also keep in mind that physicians have limited time available, so don’t disrespect other patients by spending an hour asking questions. If he does not have time that day, ask him for an alternative method of communication (like email) so you can ask more questions.
(3) Let your web do the crawling: Some phyisicians love dumb patients; ones that don’t know a thing about their condition and will never challenge the doctor. This is a recipe for disaster. A great physician who cares about his patients appreciates it when patients learn about their own health care and possible treatments. Understand that in this world of technology that we have the tools to know all of the available options. Learn about your disease, standard treatments, and current research that could have an affect on your treatment program.
(4) Just call me, baby: Find out the contact information for the phyisician’s hotline in the event that you get ill. His nurse will usually have this information. Once again, respect the doctor and his time away from the clinic. A physician’s time is never the stage for your drama. Don’t call when you sneeze. Tip: Call when you get a temperature over 100 degrees.
(5) Keep one in the batting cage: On occassion, your physician gets a free pass to go on vacation with their family, go to a conference, or just can’t work you in at short notice. Have your second favorite physician in the same practice picked out and educated on your case for these occasions.
Accept Responsibility for Your Illness
You must accept and understand that your illness is just that — yours. It’s your responsibility to manage it and no one else’s. This means educating yourself about proper diet, treatments and taking control of your physician-patient relationship.
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