Just a few decades ago patients were passive participants in their health care. They didn't question what they were told by their doctors and accepted their opinions unchallenged. Today, the doctor/patient relationship has evolved; largely because patients are asking more questions, getting more answers and are more active in their own health care.
No doubt that the information age had something to do with this change. Medical information previously reserved for professionals is now available for all. With the click of a mouse patients can gain information arming them with knowledge they never had before and giving health consumers the confidence to advocate for themselves and partner with their doctors.
Smart patients everywhere are not only improving their own quality of care, but also making the whole healthcare system more accountable and effective. Patients who persevere in their quest for answers, can save their lives.
Smart patients are inquisitive, proactive, outspoken and relentless in their pursuit for answers.
Here's how you can become a smart patient and get the best healthcare possible for you and the people you love.
1. Choose a Doctor Who Thinks Like You
Choosing a like-minded doctor who matches your communication style and philosophy assures that he or she will be mindful of your preferences, likes and dislikes. Developing a rapport can provide a comfort level for the exchange of pertinent information that can help in making a diagnosis. Finding Dr. Right may take a few tries. Don't be discouraged.