Category: Beautiful Health
"The best medicine is education."
Navigating the healthcare system today is nearly impossible. Physicians are rushed, and communication is poor, resulting in confusion and anxiety. Unlike in days bygone, there is no General Practitioner who effectively treats the entire patient, and all of their medical problems. We have an oversaturation of specialists who only manage a tiny piece your medical problem, and they are unable to deal with any problem outside of the immediate scope of practice. Today, it is not unusual for a person to have 5 or 6 physicians participating in their care: such as an internist, cardiologist, gynecologist, rheumatologist, psychiatrist, and perhaps a chiropractor. Each with their own philosophy, and each prescribing different (sometime incompatible) medication regimens and treatment plans. If hospitalization becomes necessary, there’s an entirely different team of these same specialists that take over – further changing the medications, treatment plans, and adding to the confusion.
Since no one is paid for communication, the various specialists do not share information with each other. Hospital physicians may not even share the details of a hospital stay with the primary care internist at the clinic! In the emergency room, patients are constantly amazed that their health information is unavailable to me as an ER physician – even if you’ve been hospitalized at that very same hospital just a week prior. And the unintended consequence of HIPAA (medical information privacy) is that frequently we physicians cannot obtain critical medical information, even in an emergency.
What does this mean to you? It means that YOU must take responsibility for your own health care. You must know your medical history. Use your physicians as coaches and guides. Provide each of them with necessary information, such as a list of medications you take, surgeries you’ve had, medical problems you’re dealing with, and allergies you suffer from. Ask questions, take notes, and try to understand your medical issues so you can better advocate for yourself (or your family member).
This section of the website is designed to help you do just that. To acquire information, educate yourself about your medical issue(s), and advocate for your own health. In today’s healthcare environment, this literally could mean the difference between life and death.