Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 800.239.2901

Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
New Cholesterol Guidelines Focus on Personalized ApproachAHA: Defibrillators Can Help Kids Survive Cardiac Arrest, TooFDA Will Ban Many Flavored E-CigarettesU.S. Smoking Rates Hit Record LowOnly a Quarter of Opioid Painkillers Taken After Most SurgeriesHome Health-Care Tests: Proceed With CautionFDA Takes on Flatulent CowsWhy Bystanders Are Less Likely to Give CPR to WomenCellphone Radiation Tied to Upped Odds for Cancer -- in RatsHealth Tip: FDA Discusses Possible Risks of Bodybuilding ProductsU.S. Hospitals Making Headway Against InfectionsAfter Mass Shootings, Blood Donations Can Go UnusedLead in Hair Dyes Must Go: FDAIn California, Some Doctors Sell 'Medical Exemptions' for Kids' VaccinationsGot Unused Prescription Meds? Saturday Is National Drug Take-Back DayFDA Too Quick to Call BPA Chemical Safe, Health Experts SayIs Crowdfunding Too Often Used for Bogus Treatments?Many Supplements Still Contain Dangerous Stimulants: StudyTapping Into TelehealthMenthol Cig Ban Didn't Spur Black Market Sales: StudyHip-Hop Loaded With Pot, Cigarette ReferencesWhite House Wants Prices in Drug Ads, But Big Pharma Fights BackMany Supplements Contain Unapproved, Dangerous Ingredients: StudyE-Cigs Continue to Spark Debate Over Health Risks/BenefitsClinical Trials Need More VolunteersGetting Your Medical Records Might Not Be EasyMost People Don't Know if They Have Genetic Risk for CancerConsumer Reports Says Warnings About Tainted Beef Don't Go Far EnoughThe Physician Assistant Will See You NowCoffee Shop Workers on Front Lines of Opioid CrisisDozens of Medical Groups Join Forces to Improve DiagnosesDoes Big Pharma Hike Prices When Meds Are in Short Supply?FDA Gets Tough on Juul, Other E-Cigarette Makers'No Documented Reason' for 1 in 3 Outpatient Opioid Rxs: StudyUrgent Care Centers Ease ER Burden in U.S.Poor Health Care Linked to 5 Million Deaths Worldwide a Year'Million Hearts' Project Aims to Prevent 1 Million Cardiac CrisesDoctor Burnout Likely to Impair CareHomelessness Takes Toll on Kids' Health Even Before They're BornFDA Warns of Dangers of Liquid Nitrogen in Food, DrinksStates Struggle With Onslaught of Opioid OD DeathsAHA: Why More Americans Are Kicking the Smoking HabitMonitoring System for Underage Tobacco Sales Falls Short: StudyHundreds of Human, Pet Homeopathy Products RecalledAHA: CPR Training at School Now Required in 38 StatesGovernment Rules Aimed at Curbing Opioid Prescriptions May Have BackfiredGut Enzyme Could Help Solve U.S. Blood ShortagesHealth Tip: Making an Emergency CallFrom Pigs to Peacocks, What's Up With Those 'Emotional-Support Animals'?Global Aid Programs Shortchange Teen Health Needs: Study
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

How to Become an Educated Patient

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 7th 2018

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Aug. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency treatment rarely allows you much time to consider your options. But what about care that can be done on your timetable?

There are many tools available to help you understand the pros and cons of nearly any procedure and -- through an open discussion with your health-care provider -- determine what's best for you.

Research shows that using decision-making tools helps in many circumstances, such as when there's more than one accepted treatment option, when no one option has an obvious advantage, and when each option has pros and cons that could affect you differently.

Become an educated patient by using pamphlets, videos and other online resources from recognized health organizations. These tools will improve your knowledge, help you determine what's most important to you (such as whether the potential outcome outweighs any risks), provide you with more accurate expectations, and let you feel more confident about your decisions.

If you're unsure of where to get the information you need, ask your doctor's office for resources. The governing bodies of nearly all medical specialties are good starting points, and almost all have websites you can access, as do the many branches of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Remember that you have the right to get a second and even a third opinion if what you find out conflicts with your first doctor's recommendation. Also, talk to a representative from your medical insurance company to fully understand whether these options are covered and what happens if the second opinion provider is out-of-network.

With the changing face of health care, it's never been more important to become your own advocate. Education is the key.

More information

You can access all the branches of the U.S. National Institutes of Health online. Then search through the one that covers your specific medical condition for detailed information.