Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Talking to Your Physician/Surviving Obamacare by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.
This book is a comprehensive study guide to improve the patient/ healthcare provider relationship.
Going to the doctor is scary. Obamacare changes are scary. Knowing your rights, your obligations, and your coverage is pretty difficult. Add to this a difficult relationship with your healthcare provider, and it makes for horrible healthcare.
I remember years ago, I attempted to switch doctors. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the doctor I had, except that he wasn't the right doctor for me. I had trust issues. We couldn't communicate. He was brusque and quick and did nothing to set me at ease. Now, the rest of my family adored his no-nonsense 'do what I tell you to do' attitude, but it didn't work with my personality. When I called the doctor's office and requested to be switched to another doctor in the facility, I was met with hostility and blacklisted from the facility altogether. The thing is, it wasn't an attack on the doctor in any way. I wanted a doctor I could trust and have a relationship with. I wanted a caregiver that I could feel confident understood my health needs and could communicate with me how to meet them. That wasn't happening. Still, to this day, I do not regret my decision. I never returned to the health care facility where my doctor was located.
Considering that health care is such a necessity, every person should take it seriously. Every person becomes ill or injured at some point and having someone you can trust for your care is important. Keeping that in mind, there are a x amount of doctors in the world and y amount of patients. The numbers simply don't match up. In a single day, a doctor can see so many patients that it becomes a whirlwind of activity. Add to that the possibility of an emergency, which could set the doctor several hours behind on his already hectic schedule, and it's no wonder that most doctors don't take the initiative to dig deep into your medical history and remember every scar that you have. It simply isn't possible.
This book is an incredible tool, and sadly, I haven't even really begun to study it. I've read it, but that isn't the same thing. There's so much information in here that I'll be pulling it out as it becomes relevant. I remember in high school I had a B.E.R. and that was my English tool book. It had everything that I needed to know and I could look it up and access it as needed. This book is my medical B.E.R.
In this book, you'll find some great cartoons that are extremely relevant to being a patient. They're light-hearted and humorous, but at the crux of them you'll find some pretty difficult truths. There's an entire page of medical quotes (Mark Twain's is my favorite!) There are several first-person accounts of doctor/patient relationships. I particularly enjoyed these because it just makes everything more personal. Not only does this book emphasize the importance of building strong communication, but also issues, statistics, red flags and when to fire your physician. Coming from a doctor, this is awesome! I feel validated in firing my doctor!
This isn't a book where Joe Bob Polyfreeze down the street starts on a rampage about what doctors should be like. This is a comprehensive look at some of the most difficult parts in the doctor/patient relationship with an end goal of healing and strengthening it. There is practical advice for any situation that you may be in. I do believe that if all doctors held the beliefs and practices of Dr. Gold, I wouldn't be so terrified of seeking medical attention.
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