Thanks to a blog post by Scott K. Johnson, I just viewed a public service announcement about the importance of asking questions, for patients with diabetes and their health care providers. This is something I routinely emphasize with people I see.
Not only for diabetes appointments, but for any health-related visit, write down your questions, take your list to the appointment, and ask! Don’t leave until you feel your questions have been answered. If you don’t feel comfortable asking, or you aren’t getting answers, it is probably time to find a new health care provider.
I literally start jotting down questions right after my appointment. I keep the list somewhere prominent (so I don’t lose it or forget it), and take it to my next appointment. We all have access to almost as much health information as our health care providers do, now that we have the internet. I often look things up between visits, and then I seek clarification from my health care provider. He happens to work in a research center, and I know that he has cutting-edge information.
Health care has changed. It is completely different from what it was in the past because patients, consumers, customers (whatever you want to call us) are informed. There is no longer space or time for paternalism in health care. It is up to us to take care of ourselves. It is up to our health care providers to provide support, guidance and information/explanations (clarify what we’ve found on our own).
It is up to us to ask questions.