Friday, September 3, 2010

How empowered are you?

There was an article on USAToday.com that I found encouraging: More 'empowered patients question doctors' orders. Apparently it is becoming increasingly more common for patients to do their own research, and want to have some input in their treatment.

The article talks about how people's attitudes and involvement in their own health care have changed over the years, as out-of-pocket costs have gone up — and as information has become easier to come by. For instance, one source mentions longtime diabetics who don't know what an A1c is or why they need it.

Doctors seem to disagree as to whether this is a good thing. Some doctors don't like it, while others — such as the one who talked about diabetics not knowing about the A1c — think it's a good thing for people to be more interested in their own health care.

I've talked before about my decision to get off Lipitor, which was made independently of my doctor. I've also talked about my first doctor, whose overbearing and accusatory bedside manner convinced me to switch. Clearly I am one of those "empowered" patients. However, I also know many people who seem to accept their doctors' orders blindly.

Where do you fall on the scale?

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