Face to Face time with doctors is shrinking as payments from insurance companies are further reduced. No longer are the Patient Consumer Information pamphlets included with prescriptions from manufactures, they cost money. The medication information we receive from pharmacies is a cover your ass view of a few possible side effects. Doctors work on reduced rates leaving no choice but see more patients. I believe we are due the information to manage out health properly.
What do I mean by managing our health properly? We have to take responsibility to gather information the doctor doesn’t have time to give. If lucky doctors allow 15 minutes per patient. How much information can you get in that amount of time. Especially if its a new or complex illness. We are our best advocates, we have to hold doctors accountable for the information we need. It is our responsibility to understand our illnesses and medications. Doctors do not have all the answers. You have to clarify communication, don’t get caught up in “it’s the doctor’s responsibility”, wrong. Two people are in the equation and you’re the sick one. These steps may help the journey to survival and beyond. Critical to getting well is seeing the right type of doctor. A medical doctor is not a mental health specialist, has no business dispensing RX’s. Get a referral , if not you’re a trail and error for what they think will work. Not always in you best interest. Not to mention the side effects of pick and choose.
Education is a powerful tool to build confidence, confidence you’ll need to talk toe to toe with doctors. The first place I head is the Internet. I’m one of the patients doctors don’t like. I come in with my note-book, recap our last meeting and let them know I have several questions. I spend my time researching the ailments. What are the most important symptoms. I use the info to put a short list of questions together. I ask next steps if don’t have a diagnoses. Doctors don’t have enough time to spend with each patient so I go in ready. I’ve included two resources which may help with your education. FDA.GOV is a great resource if you take prescriptions. You can find everything needed including Consumer Prescription Inserts we no longer received from medical companies. Medwatch a FDA.gov department provides label changes, warning letters, recalls on specific drugs and medical equipment. The database is extensive however some of the tools are cumbersome at first.
Best of luck and well wishes. XO M