“Informed Patient? Don’t Bet On It” (New York Times)

This is a good article in today’s New York Times about how to be a more informed patient:


Informed Patient? Don’t Bet On It
New York Times
By Mikkael A. Sekeres, M.D. and Timothy D. Gilligan, M.D.
March 1, 2017

The authors, two physicians, suggest patients do the following to become better informed:

■ Ask [physicians] to use common words and terms. 

■ Summarize back [to physicians] what you heard. 

■ Request written materials, or even pictures or videos [from your physician].

■ Ask for best-case, worst-case, and most likely scenarios, along with the chance of each one occurring.

■ Ask if you can talk to someone who has undergone the surgery, or received the [treatment].

■ Explore alternative treatment options, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

■ Take notes, and bring someone else to your appointments to be your advocate, ask the questions you may be reluctant to, and be your “accessory brain,” to help process the information we are trying to convey.