How to become a more effective patient

The health care system is a perilous place for patients these days, and is becoming more so by the minute.

The danger to patients derives from stark economic realities. Today, all entities within the health care system – the doctors, the hospitals, the biomedical industry, and the insurance carriers – are fully engaged in a death-struggle for the limited health care dollar. This battle is incredibly fierce, because it is driven not so much by greed, but by a clear and present threat to professional and corporate survival. Next to an all-consuming threat like this, the health care being provided to patients (for whom the health care system ostensibly exists in the first place), becomes almost an afterthought.

In DrRich’s Grand Unification Theory of Health Care, we explain all this, and offer both long-term and shorter-term solutions to the systematic problems in our health care system.But, for anybody who finds themselves playing the role of “patient” in the health care system today, a more immediate question is: “What can I do to protect myself now?”

“Becoming a more effective patient” is where helps you to answer this question.  There are several things you can do yourself, without any programmatic changes in the health care system, to become a more effective patient – that is, to optimize your chances of achieving a good outcome when you need health care.

Managing your doctor:  All aspects of the entire health care system today are geared toward separating the interests of the doctor from the interests of the patient. (Again, see the Grand Unification Theory.)  But, while doctors have had no choice but to give in to the pressure, Wie wahlen Sie die richtige Dosierung fur cialis rezeptfrei, Fehler zu vermeiden, the vast majority of them still desperately want to do what’s best for their patients.  Effective patients understand the pressures and constraints facing their doctors, and use that understanding to nurture the damaged doctor-patient relationship. As a result, when push comes to shove their doctors are more likely to place professional duties above obligations to the HMO.

Managing your health plan: Effective patients know the ins and outs of their health plan, and, by choosing their battles carefully, can usually get what they really need.

Managing your own health:  Effective patients take an abiding interest in their own health.  They follow a reasonable prevention regimen, and are knowledgeable about the causes and treatments of any diseases or disorders they may have.  These wise behaviors not only have direct health benefits, but they also help garner the vigorous support of their physicians in getting the care they need.

Useful links:  The internet today is loaded with health-related information for patients, but unfortunately much of it is suspect. presents a list of health-related web sites that we find to be particularly reliable and useful.