Are You Satisfied with Your Healthcare?
By Lisa O’Brien
Healthcare in the U.S. has been getting a lot of over the last few years. HMO’s have disappeared, Primary Care Physicians are changing their guidelines, and at any given time it seems we find a notice in the mail telling us that our Healthcare Provider is no longer accepting our insurance. That can cause another physician’s case load to grow exponentially. So much to keep up with!
Our lives are busy enough and when you live with Fibromyalgia sometimes it can be overwhelming. Relying on our doctor or specialist is crucial and feeling comfortable with their knowledge of our condition, even more so. Are you in the waiting room for an unreasonable amount of time? Feeling rushed through your appointment? Does your doctor need you to go over things that should be well documented in your file?
According to a leading major survey conducted by The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at advancing the work of practice physicians, 81 percent of 20,000 surveyed doctors stated that they were either overworked or at full capacity. What does that mean for Fibromyalgia patients whose symptoms and care can be very specific?
We need to take initiative for ourselves at every doctor visit. Help the doctor help you. Many people are sheepish when it comes to telling their doctor what they think may work for them. The doctor knows best, right? Not always. That doesn’t mean that the doctor is incompetent, it just means that if you have a suggestion or new piece of information then share it. Things like a new treatment you have heard about or curiosity about a new medication; these are all very good things to talk to the doctor about.
If the doctor seems rushed or you think that everything you wanted to happen didn’t, tell him/her that you have some questions. Slow them down. This is your appointment. You want to come away feeling hopeful and assured. Write everything down that you want to discuss so you don’t forget. If you are prescribed medication, check the written prescription before you leave to be sure it is correct. Going to the pharmacy and getting the wrong medication is frustrating in so many ways.
Doctors are human. Sometimes they need help too. Fibromyalgia still has a lot of uncharted territory when it comes to symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. It’s OK to have a good adult conversation with them about your thoughts and suggestions. Most likely, they will be happy to have a patient that communicates with them. Go for it!