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Participating in Your Health Care

Take Charge of Your Future

Being an active participant in your health care means being in charge of your future.  Many people are more satisfied with their care when they partner with their physician to share the responsibility. As doctors are experts on diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions, you are an expert on your body and yourself.

Often there is more than one option for diagnosing or treating a condition. By partnering with your doctor, you can help choose the option that best fits your values, beliefs, and lifestyle. You also will feel more comfortable in the chosen treatment and more compliant in following the suggested treatment course.

Tips for establishing a good partnership with your doctor:

  • Build a relationship with your doctor
  • Let your doctor know that you want to be a partner in your health care
  • Tell the doctor about your expectations
  • Bring questions to your appointment, actively listen and ask questions to participate in the discussion
  • If you do not understand a diagnosis or treatment, ask for clarification.
  • Tell the doctor if you do not think that you can carry out the prescribed treatment

You can help prevent medical errors

Listening to and understanding your physician's assessment of your condition and their suggested treatment is critical. Taking an active role will help you to identify and get clarification in order to misunderstandings and yield better personalized care for you.  Together with your physician, you can assure you get the best treatment possible for your situation.

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