What if you are diagnosed with something that needs immediate attention?
- Unless it is imminently life threatening, you need to investigate the urgency, options and risks associated with any treatment or procedure being recommended.
- It will be necessary to do some research regardless of the situation you are in.
- Always get an independent second opinion! Not an opinion from someone the first physician recommends or someone in the same practice. Even if the same procedure/surgery is recommended, the second physician may have a different approach and you may have a better rapport with the second person or confirm that the original physician is the right one for you.
- ASK as many questions as you need to feel confident about your doctor and the recommendations being made.
- There are many resources available to get you started including internet search engines like PubMed, Healthline, WebMd and Drugs.com.
- Look for disease specific organizations that may have information on your diagnosis like the Arthritis Foundation, The Mayo Clinic, The American Heart Association, etc
Remember there are independent patient advocates like Care Weavers who have experience helping people in just this type of situation!