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The Importance of Being an Empowered Patient

Feb 28th, 2014

Unless you’ve gone to medical school, medical science is an intimidating subject. Medicine progresses at breakneck speed and more complicated treatments are made available all the time. As a patient, you may wonder how you can possibly keep up. After all, the doctors are the experts, right? This mindset may make you feel that you are a recipient of your health care, rather than a participant in it. However, gaining knowledge about your health care will give you the tools to feel empowered when making important medical decisions.

We live in an age where instant access to vast resources of knowledge is at our fingertips. We look things up on the Internet before making choices about many important decisions, like buying a car. We seek expertise, and then we make decisions based on our research. We don’t walk into a car dealership and buy the first car doled out to us by the salesman.  Making decisions about your health care should be no different.

Educating yourself is a major part of patient empowerment. Here’s an example—understanding your anatomy can be complex and intimidating. But learning about it will help you understand how your body works when your doctor discusses specific surgical treatments, and its terminology will give you the language to feel empowered in your appointments with your doctor.

Now comes the important question—are you an empowered patient? You can find out by signing up here to take our quiz.

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