The Empowered Patient is a CNN special on the medical mishaps and misdiagnosis that occur when people are not involved enough in their own medical care.
The special details the stories of several people who could have avoided medical mishaps had they been more involved in their own medical treatment. The keys are trusting your doctor, being willing and feeling that you can ask questions about your treatment and diagnosis and being willing to walk away and get a second opinion. If you don’t trust your doctor and don’t feel you can tell them you want a second opinion then you should get a different doctor.
Choosing the Right Hospital: Do your research to find the best hospital to meet your needs. This is a great bit of advice, but too often when you need a hospital you are in the midst of an emergency and can’t do that research before you go.
Ask for Tests: If you feel that more tests need to be done, demand them. Trust your gut if you know something is wrong.
1 in 10 diagnosis are wrong! Ask your Dr what else it could be.
Do Your Own Research: Don’t wait for your Dr to tell you your options, research them yourself.
Evidently, Elizabeth Cohen (the host of the special) has also written a book about the topic of being an empowered patient, after dealing with a situation where her own mother allowed the doctor to decide her treatment without question, leading to a problem becoming bigger because it was not diagnosed.
This special makes me feel a lot better about my situation as I’ve pushed and pushed. While my tests keep coming back with nothing (to some degree), my most recent MRI has shown something. The doctors say it’s “nothing to be worried about” but the more research I do the more convinced I am that what they’ve found could be responsible for a lot of my issues. Only time (and more opinions) will show. At this point I’m just waiting to get back in to see the dr again.
I’m looking for a copy of the book now, as I think it may be a good informative book. I’ll let you know after I read it.