Wednesday, December 3, 2008

GUEST POST: Trusting your Doctor – Is it the Right Treatment?

Welcome to All Scrubbed Up's 4th guest blogger... Sarah Scrafford! Enjoy her views on the patient-doctor relationships. We think this one may draw some comments...

There are some people who treat their doctors like Gods – they think they can do no wrong, that they can cure any malaise, and that they have their best interests at heart. And then there are others who are extremely reluctant to trust anyone connected to the medical field, who move from doctor to doctor in search of the perfect one they can trust but never find one at all, and who generally prefer to treat themselves unless it’s a life-threatening situation. In my opinion, neither extreme is advisable – while you must trust your doctor to do the best for you, it’s also prudent to exercise caution and do a bit of research before you throw yourself at the complete mercy of a total stranger.

We hear horror stories of medical malpractices that occur because of both negligence and/or incompetency; the victims of these tragedies escape with no lasting damage if they’re lucky, but if they’re not, they could end up with chronic conditions, or worse, die. Medical lawsuits are extremely complicated affairs that end up becoming costly and difficult to prove, which is why it’s best to be prepared and do your homework before going to a doctor to seek treatment:

* Talk to other patients: Before you commit yourself to going under the knife of a particular surgeon, talk to his or her other patients so that you get proper feedback from the right sources. Long time patients are your best bet – they’re the ones who know exactly how competent and how trustworthy your soon-to-be physician is.

* Check the Internet: Some doctors have a web presence, but then again, you can’t believe their own publicity. Run a search to see if people have blogged about their efficiencies or inefficiencies – this being the age of free and available information, most people are not hesitant to air their views from a public soapbox, especially when the medium is as vast and diverse as the World Wide Web.

* Talk to your doctor itself: Some doctors are open to honest communication, and if you’re a good judge of character, you’ll know if you’re in good hands or not.

* Use relatives or close friends in the medical community: People who have close connections to the medical industry are usually in the inner loop regarding doctors and their methods of treatment. If you know someone in the medical community, don’t hesitate to pick their brains and seek their opinion.

* Bedside manner is not everything: Don’t be fooled by the bedside manner of doctors – that’s all there is to some of them. Style over substance never works, more so when it’s a question of your life. So take what doctors say with a pinch of salt, and double check your facts if you want to life a long and healthy life.

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This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of Radiology Technician Schools. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: