What do you know about your medical problem(s)?

What do you know about your medical problem(s)? Have you been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, coronary disease, high cholesterol? Does your doctor engage you in a discussion about your condition?
In today’s medical landscape of PQRS (physician quality reporting systems), ACOs (accountable Care organizations), ACA (affordable care act), EMR (electronic medical records) and other influences, your doctor may be pushing to see more and more patients each day. Your doctor still remains your best source of information about your particular medical conditions. Our health care system has been changing to “lower the cost of medicine.” However, this translates into lower pay to physicians and hospitals and more money to insurance carriers. In many plans there are savings passed on to patients, but few people saw their insurance rates go down.
My advice is to be proactive with your own physician. I love to give my patients advice, but even with fifteen to thirty minute appointments we don’t always get things discussed. If you DON’T ask, however, you will, most likely, not get answers.

1. Always take ALL of your medications (in their bottles) to your appointments
2. Prepare a list of questions – and be sure your doctor knows what you want to hear
(sometimes this may mean needing a second appointment)
3. Let your doctor know your concerns and if you have serious symptoms don’t put off asking
about them.
4. Respect your doctor’s time (and that of his/her other patients)
5. With new insurance some medications are no longer covered. If you have a “formulary” from your insurance, take it to your next appointment. It will help your doctor.
This is short list. What would you like t have your doctor tell you?

{My intent is not to provide medical recommendations with this blog, but to help patients learn how to communicate with their doctor and the office where they receive their medical care.}

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About smcpherson58

Aside from loving chocolate and coffee (not necessarily in that order) Scott McPherson has learned that he loves to write. He writes fiction and, so far, has published two novels. Scott has many varied interests, though he tries to focus on one at a time. He has worked for nearly thirty-five years as a family physician, a pass-time that gives him great pleasure and pays the bills. He has five daughters and dotes upon three grandchildren. Recently married, he really loves life. Scott writes from his life experiences and from travel. His career in the active Air Force was brief, but he has been a member of the Nebraska Air National Guard since just before 9/11 in 2001. The aftermath of that great disaster changed the face of the Guard and led to missions in far-away lands. He has spent time in Turkey, Iraq, Spain, Crete and Guam in missions related to support for Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He has been to Iceland and Antarctica as well. Scott has no personal experience with violent death or murder, but has gained knowledge from experts. In his first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death,” his character, Jack Sharp MD, becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. First as suspect, then as amateur sleuth, Jack tries to make a difference. He finds himself right in the middle of an investigation well beyond the scope of a local murder. A man of faith, Scott traveled to Africa with his small family in the 1980s and served as a medical missionary in Zaire (known as Congo today) with a church organization. The vast difference in what it takes to exist in such an environment served as a basis for much of his second novel, a thriller, “Congo Mission.” His character, Jack, is twenty years younger than in the first novel. In “Congo Mission” Jack serves as a physician in a missionary hospital in the jungles of northwestern Zaire. There he is not only captivated by a young woman visiting the region, but falls victim to his nemesis Jacques Levant. His motivations and faith are tested and his resolve to do God’s work gets pushed to the limit. When he is not writing Scott enjoys walking, a practice that actually led to his first attempt at writing a novel. He began making notes and writing prose about the mundane things around him. He tried to make the details sound interesting, even though it was just for his own pleasure. Eventually he found that he could expand his prose to “what if?” “What if I just kept walking?” “What if I, or my character, found a dead body in the ditch along the side of the path?” That was the premise for the first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death.” Scott McPherson is an avid trombone player and has played since he was nine years old. He marched in the Cornhusker Marching Band at the University of Nebraska and now takes advantage of one free football game a year by playing in the half-time show with the UNL Alumni Marching Band. He plays in the Lincoln Civic Orchestra and a community band from the nearby town of Waverly, Nebraska. Scott loves to sing as well, though his range seems to have diminished in recent years. He has sung in college and church choirs and remembers performing parts of Handel’s Messiah as a highlight of his singing experience. One little-known fact about Scott is that he once sang soprano in a boys choir. Scott plans to keep writing as long as the ideas flow and others show interest in his stories. He loves to interact with other writers or readers about what has become a passion in his life. Reviews are always welcome as are questions and comments.
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