Carefully Select Your Doctor
The most valuable suggestion I can give you if you are in need of medical care by a physician is to be proactive. Ask questions and know what the plan is for your care. It is important for you to visit the doctor with your your elderly parents ( if at all possible) who may not understand the doctor's instructions and they may not know what is best.
Health care costs have gone out of sight as you well know.
This doubles and triples the importance of choosing your health care provider with utmost care. Choose someone who takes the time to listen and respond and act on your concerns.
If that is not happening you are in the wrong office.
Choosing a doctor is one of the most important decisions you make for you and your family . Finding a doctor you can trust takes time and requires in-depth research.
In this article there are some red flags that let you know it is time to choose a new doctor.
Even though some of these may seem humorous, there is some truth to most of them and those little bells and whistles might go off it you find you are noticing that you are nodding your head in agreement and thinking, 'uh humm...my doctor is doing this.'
Ask yourself---does he listen to what I am saying? That is one of the single most important traits you want in your doctor. He needs to hear what you are telling him.
Most of our medical professionals do not exhibit these traits. and for that we are grateful. It has been my good fortune to have doctors who are caring, concerned, competent, and up to date on the latest most effective medical care.
Given one well-trained physician of the highest type he will do better work for a thousand people than ten specialists.— William J. Mayo
Maybe you should eat all of that Unhealthy stuff!!!
Patiently waiting to be called to the back at the doctor's office
Advocate for your elderly parent(s)
Go to doctor's appointments with your elderly parents. If you do not live close by, find someone to go that you trust. When my parents were in their 80s and 90s, I went to the doctor with them usually transporting them. I was always glad that I accompanied them.
It is easy to be confused when you are their age and some of your hearing or cognitive powers have declined. If you are there, you can listen and ask for clarification. If procedures are suggested that may be risky, research them, ask for a second opinion, and be certain they are necessary.
Medications will usually be discussed. Share what you know about how your parent(s) feels as sometimes it is because of medication.
This is an important step you can take as an advocate for your parent(s).
Sometimes you just gotta' laugh...
Consider the following entries. If and when you experience any of these, it may be time to find a new doctor to care for the medical needs of you and your family.
1. You go in for a check up and the doctor says, ‘Good morning, Mrs. Bannimore. So glad to see you are recovering so well since you went home from the hospital.'
Number One ----This is a very friendly greeting but your name is Kickins and you have been a patient of this doctor for 10 years . Number Two--- You have not just had a recent stay in the hospital for any reason.
Have you had to change doctors because you lacked confidence the one you had?
2. Your doctor says:
"We will be removing your gall bladder today, Mrs. Kickins." You have No gall bladder.
3. You hear the words: "This is my first surgery but everything will be fine. A triple bypass is routine these days."
4. "You have nothing to worry about. This experimental surgery you are having is safe. We are using our newest, state of the art procedures and equipment. You are our guinea pig."
5. "Brain surgery is routinely performed here. If a mistake is made we will quickly try to rectify what ever problem occurs."
Asking friends for a referral might not be a bad idea at this point.
Uh oh...made a mistake
Some other tip offs that your doctor may need to be replaced:
6 . " How have you been feeling? You know that medicine I gave you for your blood pressure? Further research has shown it does in fact elevate blood pressure. We will be putting you back on your old pressure meds today."
7. 'You know three weeks ago I told you that you needed to go home and get your affairs in order--- that you only have three months to live? That was a mistake. I had read the wrong records before coming into the examining room. You are probably going to live to be 100."
That of course is the kind of news you DO want to hear. However, you have sold your house, given away all of your furniture, and cashed in your life insurance.
Be prepared when you visit your doctor
- Be proactive.
- Bring your present medications with you.
- Bring a list of your concerns with you if you think you wil not be able to remember everything you want to say.
- Ask questions, a lot of questions.
- Ask even more about the medications.
- If a surgical procedure is being considered, rule out all other possibilities before agreeing to the surgery.
- Ask how many of these procedures the surgeon has performed.
- If you feel uncomfortable about going alone, take a family member or trusted friend with you to the appointment. That way there are two of you that heard what the doctor said.
- Do not be rushed in and out of the office.
Vitamins, Vitamins, Vitamins...labels, Labels, Labels
Scripts before the exam
At some point you may hear:
8. ‘Stop whining. You are fine’ that pain in your chest is gas.' And very well, it might be. But a little checking wouldn't hurt.
9. 'Ya’ know it could be worse. There are a lot of people that are worse off than you are.'
10. You'’re going to die anyway. You have a terminal diagnosis. don’t know why you want to have that done.' Believe it or not, this was said to my daughter about having further cardiac procedures done. Needless to say he is no longer working with his medical group.
11. If your doctor rushes in and during the visit, all he talks about is his most recent trip to a medical convention, his last cruise, his family, or how bad he feels, it may be a sign.
12. a. If your doctor enters the examining room looking rather flushed and smelling of alcoholic libations, it should cause you to reconsider this physician.
12. b. If you doctor comes in handing you scripts, before he evaluates or assesses you, not a good sign.
If your family member has a disease that is elusive and difficult to diagnose, sometimes the tables are turned. All of a sudden it is 'nothing' or somehow you are at fault for whatever the person is suffering from at that time. Flashing lights should be going off.
Fortunately , most of our doctors do take good care of us.
It is your job as a patient to be proactive
- Ask questions and press until your questions are answered.
- Do not be intimidated.
- An excellent doctor will gladly take the time to explain procedures and tests that are suggested for you or family members as part of your care.
Just like in any other profession there are those who need to be weeded out. Not all of the time, but in some cases, you have a choice about the doctor who cares for you and your family.
Demand the best
. You demand the best in other areas of your life.
Demand it of medical professionals.If you have elderly parents that you take to the doctor, be their advocate. Ask questions and get clarification on any issues you have questions about.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Patricia Scott