Sharing Healthcare Advice With Your Providers
Ideally, you would get all of your healthcare advice from qualified health professionals. Unfortunately, that is not always possible or feasible. You may also be able to find information on your own, either by asking your doctor or researching online. There are many factors to consider when evaluating online information. For example, who owns the website? How current is the information? Is it written by a health professional or a large organization (like a university, hospital, or a medical society) that oversees its content?
When choosing a health plan, remember to look at the monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. High out-of-pocket costs can quickly wipe out the savings of a lower monthly premium.
Your doctors are generally trying their best to provide you with optimal medical advice, but it is difficult for one person to keep up with all the latest knowledge and research. Plus, they can become stuck in practice habits that are not necessarily in your best interest.
As a result, you have a right to make decisions about your medical treatment. The goal of sharing decision-making with your providers is to give you the opportunity to fully understand all available medical treatment options, including their benefits and risks, and help you choose the best option for you. Talk with your provider about the most appropriate shared decision-making tools for you.
What does it mean when a doctor says ‘Against medical advice’?
Sometimes providers will recommend that you see a specialist or go to the ER. This can be a tough decision to make, especially when it is an urgent recommendation. But you do have the right to refuse medical advice. Your health care provider will respect your choice, even if it is against their recommendations.
If you are hesitant to seek the opinion of another health professional, ask your doctor about his or her concerns. They can explain the reasoning behind their recommendation, and they can also help you weigh the pros and cons of going against it. You may also want to talk with a trusted friend or family member about your decision.
In addition, it is important to understand that medical advice can be distinguished from medical information. Discussing facts and information is a fundamental free speech right, but giving specific advice about your own individual situation is considered medical malpractice, unless it is done in the context of a doctor-patient relationship under specified circumstances.
No online information, even if it is trustworthy and evidence-based, can replace seeing a health care professional for a thorough evaluation of your unique situation and the recommendation for the best course of action. When you are gathering healthcare advice, question dramatic writing and promises of cures that sound too good to be true. Also be sure to evaluate the source of the information and how current it is. You can often tell by looking at the date when the information was created and reviewed. Also look for sites that reference trustworthy sources, like reputable government agencies and medical schools, and large professional organizations.