Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You Have a Choice!

One thing that I have come across since being a provider in the medical field is that it seems like people are told that there is one set way to do things and that there are no other alternatives.  That is definitely NOT the case.  You have a choice!

The fact of the matter is, in most cases, there ARE other choices. Especially when it comes to a procedure or medication that has serious implications or possible side effects.

I have heard stories of people being told that they need to have surgery; there's no other choice.  I've heard people told that they need something removed; there's no other choice.  I heard MANY people told that they need to take this drug or that drug; there's no other choice.  I've been told that I NEED a flu vaccine; there's no other choice.

The point of my blog this time is to not only make people realize that there are other choices, bu that you need to do research on your own to come to your own decision prior to having carpal tunnel surgery, getting the Guardasil vaccine, taking Lisinopril, or anything else.

Ask your doctors questions.  Ask them why.  Ask them about side effects.  Ask them about success rates.  Ask them if there are any cases of severe injury or even fatality.  Consult outside sources.  Go online and look up the labels on drugs and read them.  Try to find studies on new drugs and their results.  Do the research.

Why?  Because in most cases we're not getting the whole story.

Just like in a decision on politics, religion, ethical issues, etc., it's best to be informed on both sides.  You don't need to follow blindly just because someone said so.

I encourage my patients to ask me questions.  Before I send a new patient on their way after their first visit I make sure that they don't have any unanswered questions at the time.  Then I encourage them to call, e-mail, or write down any questions that pop up to ask on their next visit.  I like to give people a choice.  I encourage making your own decision.

I have no issue with people making a choice that would be opposite of what I would choose, just as long as they looked at it from every angle and decided what's best for them and their situation.

So, you DO have a choice.  Just make an informed one.