nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dr Siegel On What You Should Expect From Your Doctor

I'm working on another project today, and it's eating up my day.  In the meantime, I ran across this post on the Fox News Health Blog (July 21).

Please go to the link to see his comments, but here is the list:
1. A patient knows how he or she is feeling. A patient should never tolerate a physician who is dismissive of symptoms, but expect your doctor to explore what is wrong and explain.

2. Bedside manner and personal connection are not nearly as important in a doctor-patient relationship as ability and good judgement on the part of your doctor.
3. Look for a doctor who “thinks outside the box” rather than one who sticks to his own notions of your problem no matter what your complaints are.
4. A good doctor is also a good referral source for doctors and specialists who have other areas of expertise. A top physician knows when a problem is outside his or her area of expertise and when to refer.
5. Your physician shouldn’t be defensive when it comes to dealing with a family member or friend who acts as your advocate. This person should be able to engage directly in discussion with your doctor when needed.
6. The worse you feel, the more your doctor should investigate and consider new ideas. Don’t accept a doctor who is dismissive or considers you as a collection of organs or symptoms rather than as a whole person.
7. Don’t let your physician intimidate you; look for one who encourages you to speak your mind and engages in an open exchange of information. Doctors are human beings, not gods, and they should be humble and solicitous, not arrogant or haughty.
Unresponsive and arrogant attitudes should go without saying.  We don't have to put up with that anywhere, especially in health care.

If I was putting out a list it would include a couple of different perspectives:
--Don't hesitate to get a second opinion.  Good doctors aren't bothered by it (it's what they do as a patient.)
--Don't leave the examination room with any confusion about what's going on and why.
--Good doctors aren't afraid to say "I don't know."  Not everything has a simple diagnosis.
Doc D

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