Health Education

Your Medical History: Signed, Sealed & Delivered.

Your Medical History: Signed, Sealed & Delivered.

One of the best ways to let your doctor know you mean business is to furnish a copy of your complete medical history. The time you invest in putting this together will greatly increase your chances of receiving the best medical treatment possible. It’s not necessary to spend weeks compiling the relevant information. Focus...

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Radiation Poisoning

Concern about the effects of radiation has been expressed in media as diverse as peer-reviewed scientific journals to publicly-acclaimed science fiction films. Reports of consequences of poisoning, and when acute poisoning occurs, fluctuate wildly and so it is difficult to assess the true danger. If you are investigating this issue, please do critically evaluate...

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Do You and Your Doctor Share the Same Priorities?

Do You and Your Doctor Share the Same Priorities?

You may not know the answer to this question unless you or your advocate are direct with your physician. According to research studies, the good news is that most of the time your priorities are congruent. But one out of three cases reflected a difference between the patient’s priorities — often issues about pain,...

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Yes, It Might Be Smart to Schmooze With Your Doctor!

Yes, It Might Be Smart to Schmooze With Your Doctor!

You may read the headline of this post and be disenchanted. Until a short time ago, I would have reacted the same way. But after careful thought, I came to several realizations: Doctors are human. First impressions are powerful. Doctors are stressed. This is an uncertain time for the medical profession and health care...

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2011 Health Care Quality Report Card Released Today!

2011 Health Care Quality Report Card Released Today!

Is your doctor rated highly by this year’s report card? What about your treating facility? Your health insurer? Here is information to help you evaluate the services you receive — released today by the Office of the Patient Advocate for the State of California, this comprehensive report provides ratings on health insurers, medical providers,...

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High-Tech Medicine Often Misses the Obvious.

It’s easy to lose perspective of the role of technology in our lives. A recent article in The New York Times, “Treat the Patient, Not the CT Scan,” makes this painfully clear. Describing the admission of a young woman to the E.R. presenting with seizures and breathing difficulty, a routine CT scan revealed what...

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Listen To My Heart…

Listen To My Heart…

Volunteering to observe interaction between doctor and patient, a journalist reported her experience of 18 second-year Harvard Medical School students encountering their first “live” cardiology case. All of them passed the difficult art of auscultation (the stethoscope has not yet become obsolete, low-tech though it is), but most flunked the bedside-manner experiment. Indeed, can you...

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Making Decisions About Medical Care – Before You Get Sick.

We don’t like to think about it much, but in fact 25% of us are already battling multiple chronic conditions.  Medical schools train for treating a single diagnosis.  So 75% of doctors aren’t evaluating patients’ maladies comprehensively and are probably making errors, some of which are critical. Ideally, your PCP is the conduit of the...

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Doctors Debate Charging Patients for Telephone Conversations

From a Sermo blog, an enlightening discussion among physicians as to whether, and how, to charge health care consumers for follow-up communications. Your patient advocate, when accompanying you to your doctors’ appointments, will ask about post-procedure discussions before the procedure is performed.  I always insist that follow-up conversations — whether by phone, email or office...

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Patients’ Expectations of Their Physicians

Patients’ Expectations of Their Physicians

Yes, this would seem to be a no-brainer.  You want your doctor to be patient-oriented. You want your doctor to be free from any conflict of interest that could compromise your care. Most doctors strive to do this. Some don’t. If you are treated by more than one physician, you may discover to your...

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