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Sep 14, 2009

Medical Information

Getting correct medical information can be the difference between life and death. Maybe your problem isn't quite that severe, but you still need to know how to get the proper information.

Talk to a pharmacist. Contemporary pharmaceutical education makes pharmacist a proficient specialist in medical information and, of course, prescription and OTC medicines. Besides, pharmacists are used to serving customers, perhaps, more than any other member of a medical team, so their attitude will be mostly friendly, while the answers will be mostly competent. Check Mayo Clinic. Their search offers access to a vast collection of up-to-date medical information. Consult a local physician or medical social worker. Even if you do not regularly see a doctor, many will be willing to share basic medical information with you and help you decide whether to schedule a visit.

Your health insurance may provide free consulting by phone. Google your specific condition to find disease-specific information and support sites. Join a support group. Members often exchange valuable tips and experienced patients/caregivers can provide help and understanding. You can post specific queries to doctors or internet search experts at many sites. See external links below.Look up your prescriptions at sites like Drugs.com or RxList.com. Look up your prescribed tests and understand what they mean. Sites like Labtestsonline.org . Find systematic reviews and meta-analyses of clinical studies at the Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews. Refer to guidelines.gov for the guidelines that doctors use to prescribe treatments. Visit MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine's award-winning consumer health information site (www.medlineplus.gov). This site will point you to many of the valuable resources described above -- it's one-stop information shopping!

Always check the credentials of professionals/Web sites from whom you seek information. Don't panic, whatever you discover online. Double-check any important information with a specialist. Remember, it's your right to demand a second opinion, even if the primary source of medical information is your own family doctor.If consulting with a doctor or physician about a medical problem you think you might have, be as detailed as you can be about your symptoms. This could prevent serious misdiagnosis.

Never trust a source that is trying to sell you something. Sites that sell vitamins, herbal supplements, and other forms of unestablished medical treatments should be avoided. "Natural" treatments can be very dangerous! Don't let the word "natural" trick you into thinking "safe".


lina@happy family said...

I need this info, thanks Jane!

September 21, 2009 at 8:00 PM