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Friday, March 5, 2010

Taking Charge of Your Own Health...Review by the Doctor

About the book:
The realities of American health care, 2009:

* Less personal medical attention due to cost-cutting and regulation
* A 40 percent national misdiagnosis rate, per recent surveys
* A critical need for people to take responsibility for their own care

Targeting these issues, author Lisa Hall—whose debilitating condition took nearly ten years to properly diagnose—offers a wide variety of practical resources to empower patients. Hall’s experience is buttressed by the expertise of internal-medicine doctor Ronald Wyatt, a fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Readers will find valuable guidance on how to

* find the right kind of doctor, check physician credentials, and increase benefits of office visits
* maximize Internet research
* navigate medical insurance, Medicare, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability
* reduce vulnerability to hospital mistakes
* organize medical records

The author encourages readers to move forward step by step—and to look back and see God’s plan taking shape through the difficulties.

Lisa Hall underwent 9 years of neurological hell before she found a way through the nightmare, thanks to some very dedicated physicians who did what so very few of us Doctors do anymore – they listened. During that 9-year battle she became very skilled in the ways of our health care system, and of the need for everyone to be their own ‘health advocate’.

As a Doctor, and someone who grew up in a country that has socialized medicine and now thankfully lives in America, I think this book should be taught in schools and higher education. It should be given to everyone who buys their own health insurance, or given by the employer to the employee for whom they purchase health insurance. I tell patients all the time, “You have to be in charge of your health care. You hire me as an expert, but I’m not in charge of this, you are”. This book is full of so many great tips, ideas and suggestions that everyone should read it at least once, and then again before you even think of going to a Doctor. My favorite paragraph is this:

“Alternative or Allopathic, internal medicine or family medicine, surgeon or chiropractor – so many decisions. What should you do? Arm yourself with as much information as possible. Weigh the benefits and risks of all your options. Assume your right and your responsibility to find the best practitioner and the best treatment plan available. Release your inner proactive patient, and wield that power.”

Amen, amen, amen. We cannot hand over the responsibility of our health to others; we have to be our own advocate, expert and mentor when it comes to our health.

This book is wonderful, and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to Scott Lorenz and Westwind Communications for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Lisa Hall here. You can purchase your own copy here.

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