This week: Think about how you can develop your team of medical professionals.
Yesterday I was reading an article about how to approach your doctor with new information and ideas. It was a brief article with useful ideas about how to approach your doctor with respect.
But this statement caught me off guard: Problems can arise if you just appear to be trying to drive your own care.
I hate to break it to you, but you bet I’m trying to drive my own care.
Oh, don’t get me wrong – I have great respect for doctors and specialists. I respect them for their experience and training. They know things I don’t know. I usually take my doctor’s advice – but I may ask why and ask about alternatives.
Doctors don’t have the same focus on my condition that I do. It’s not their fault, just the way the system works.
Things get more complex when you’re working with a general practitioner, a chiropractor, a neurologist, and a pharmacist all at the same time. And if you have a chronic condition, the list is likely longer and growing over time. Dentist? Optometrist?
It’s crucial that you stop thinking about all these health care providers as islands unto themselves. It’s up to you to turn them into a team that can help you find the best treatment.
I’m not saying you put yourself at the centre of the world. These are real people with their own lives and other patients. Let’s not get selfish here.
However, if you want to make the best use of their time and yours, and get the best treatment for you and your family, you need to make it easy for them to work together. You’re the person that has to make it happen.
Think about the how this week. For example, are there health records that could be shared? Do you have a handle on your own health information? What about your family medical history? Does your doctor know you’re seeing the chiropractor? Did you tell your neurologist about the natural health expert you talked to, and what they gave you?
The members of your team may not always agree with one another – that’s fine. But you can make better decisions if you hear what they all have to say.
Drive your own care – but do it with respect and kindness – then everybody wins.
Thanks, by the way, to the authors of What’s Wrong With Me? for really getting me thinking on this key issue.
What is 1% Thursday?
Every Thursday at Headache and Migraine News (weather permitting) we’ll talk about one measurable, practical thing we can do to make our lives just 1% better. Usually it will be something very easy, sometimes it will be a challenge. Let us know if you try it, or share an idea of your own – and maybe a year from now we’ll see that things have really changed for the better!