When Your Health's at Risk, Investigate

Huffington Post—May 20, 2010

By Helene Pavlov, MD, FACR, Radiologist-in-Chief at Hospital for Special Surgery

So much information, so much confusion, so many questions.

Clearly, if there was only one way to treat a condition, the practice of medicine would be a lot simpler for both patients and healthcare providers. Simpler, however, is not always better. As hard as decisions can be, they are necessary because one choice does not satisfy all needs. When there are many ways to treat a condition, information from many sources must be considered. All available treatment options need to be considered based on the source of the information with decisions based on personal lifestyle and expectations.

Questions for a treating physician are very important and no question is too "stupid." The more questions beforehand, the better for everyone, as unexpected or unanticipated pain or limitations during the recovery phase is detrimental to the patient, the healing process and to the physician. Not to mention the agitation and angst generated on both sides of a call to the doctor's office when the physician and/or the answers to your concerns are unavailable.

Do as you are instructed and be sure you understand what you are being instructed to do. Know what to expect, both when things are going well and what to do if an unanticipated problem occurs.

The physician-patient relationship is the key to your good health -- for prevention, treatment and recovery. Choose carefully and act responsibly and you will optimize your chances for recovery.

Read the full article at huffingtonpost.com.



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