Your Doctor Only Ever Has Half the Story
Think back to anytime you’ve seen your doctor. The guy has been in medical school forever and usually after an exam he will say…
“I THINK you have _________ and I’m going to give you __________ drug. Any questions?”
You leave the doctor, possibly unsatisfied because you feel you have a need that’s gone unmet. Worse still if you feel you’re are getting the wrong treatment.
I would venture that 99% of people feel this way at some point.
I’ve worked in a Medical Administration capacity in the military for 9 years. I’ve seen this disconnect with Doctor’s and Patients more times Than I could count. Here’s what experience tells me:
YOU ARE ULTIMATELY IN CHARGE OF YOUR MEDICAL CARE!
Yes, you! You are the boss of everything thats happening to you in the hospital, clinic, or office. You are telling the doctor whats wrong with you so that you give him every chance to prescribe the correct treatment.
You are not a dog, you have a voice-box, so speak up!
Learn how to communicate and get a second opinion if needed. I can’t tell you how many times simple things could have been fixed if people just took the extra time to talk to and communicate things to their doctor’s, nurses, medics, EMT’s. We can’t read your mind! Would much rather you communicate too much rather than too little.
You want the best for your body, so put in the time to research.
HOW TO DO YOUR OWN MEDICAL RESEARCH
YOU ARE NOT USURPING YOUR DOCTOR!
Unless you are a high level athlete, scientist, or researcher, you don’t have anywhere near the knowledge of someone who went to medical school and operated on cadavers.
You can however do cursory research to get informed on a topic or drug.
DRUG RESEARCH: There is no shortage of places to find information on drugs but you want to stick with reputable sources.
The FDA is a great resource for this very task. Typing any drug name in the search bar will immediately give you reputable reliable government sources to do your research. This is good for finding factual data and studies.
Doctors and nurses will laugh in your face if you say you looked up stuff on WebMD, can ya blame them? I personally don’t use WebMD for medical advice but its good for one thing: drug reviews by consumers.
Every drug you are prescribed, someone else has tried it already, this will allow you to spot trends and see if a drug course of treatment is worth it. Everybody is different and so you’ll have to take the reviews with a grain of salt.
Medical Research: Lets be real, you can’t do any real medical research without some knowledge of medicine, you won’t know what you’re looking at. Here’s something you can use to educate yourself: US Navy Hospital Corpsman Correspondence Course. This course is much of the curriculum I went through to become a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy. You aren’t going to have deep knowledge but you will come away knowing FAR MORE than your average patient. You NEED basic knowledge, if you really want to steer your own ship.
Ask Dr Wiki is a good source for information because they tell you where the information comes from.
DO NOT TRUST ANY INTERNET INFO IF THERE ARE NO SOURCES!
And even then consult with your doctor about the research you have done so that you can get the full picture. Talk to other people who have had the particular medical condition or disease that you are concerned with.
General information is as good as no information if not applied correctly. Get any and all bloodwork done. Get information specific to your body
Blood work tells you about lipid levels, hormone secretion, various blood cell counts, resistance to certain diseases, organ function, and much more.
You can have blood work done with or without a doctor, its usually cheaper with a doctor and covered by insurance. Look into results, learn what they mean and leave any diagnosis up to a professional.
The advice here is not meant to stand in place of any medical advice but to inform you of the power you have over YOUR medical care.
Choose to be smart, choose to be informed, choose to say what you want.
Do your due diligence or don’t but remember that ignorance is hell not bliss.
The choice is yours.
Hospital Corpsman First Class, US Navy
P.S. Read Get Serious by Brett Osborn, M.D. great book for anyone who wants to take health in their own hands.