8 Ways to be a Smart Patient

In 2006, Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz wrote a book on how to be a smart patient. They felt it was important for patients to be active participants in getting good care. Some of their suggestions include:

1. Stop being passive. Remember the doctor works for you and you are the boss of your healthcare. Smart patients are more assertive and ask questions and politely challenge what they don’t understand.

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2. Make a list of questions before you see your physician. Patients who are prepared for their visits and ask questions will have a better understanding of their health condition. Also consider bringing along a family member to your visits to help you remember what was discussed at the visit.3. Know your family history to determine if you have any risk factors for genetic or family related conditions.

4. Bring a list of all your medications to all medical appointments. This helps to avoid duplications of medications and possible drug to drug interactions.

5. Get your medications from the same pharmacy and become friendly with your pharmacist. Consultations are free and pharmacists have a wealth of information about drug side effects, drug to drug interactions, and ways to reduce drug costs.

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6. Understand how to take your medications. It is important to know the following:

  • What is the medication treating?

  • Does it replace anything else you are taking?

  • How do you take it – should it be taken at a certain time of day, on an empty stomach, or with food?

  • How long will you be taking the medication?

  • What are the common side effects?

  • Is it safe to take with my other medications?

7. Stop playing the waiting game. Ask when a test result is going to be available and call the office that day to get the results. Don’t depend on the office to call you with results in a timely fashion or to notify you when your test results are abnormal.

8. Keep a copy of your medical records and sign up for patient portals to get copies of the most recent lab tests, office notes, or x-ray reports.


If you need assistance with:

  • Facing the challenges of a new or existing health-related condition

  • Navigating the details of your treatment

  • Understanding costs and coverage associated with your insurance

  • Or managing the care of an aging parent or loved one

Call Sue Severino at Severino Health Advisors with a free and confidential 15 minute phone consultation at absolutely no risk and no obligation.  Once your or your loved one’s needs and goal for care have been identified, Sue Severino will provide you with a quote for her services.   Fees are based upon an hourly rate and can be tailored to fit your budget.  Whether you want Sue to handle everything from research, recommendations, implementation, and follow-up or whether you simply want advice on the best options available to you, services can be customized to meet your need.

Contact Sue at 717-561-2720 for you free 15 minute phone consultation!

Severino Health Advisors has helped clients reduce their healthcare costs and gain peace of mind.  Ultimately there is no better investment than an investment in your health!

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