Dr Oz did a segment called What You Must Ask At Your Next Doctor’s Visit as part of his show on Dangerous Doctors: Is Your MD Hazardous To Your Health? Relationships with your doctor can be frustrating and trying often, which is why Betty Long RN created Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates so that patients could bring an “insider” into the doctor’s office with them. Here are the 3 Questions You Must Ask Your Doctor according to Doctor Oz and Betty Long.
Dr Oz: Nurse Advocates
Betty Long made a very good point which is that we would not do anything in the legal system without a lawyer, so why do anything in the medical system without a Nurse Advocate by your side? Long showed an example of what she does on a regular basis as a Nurse Advocate, which is to go with a patient to the doctor and to make sure the right questions are asked and that the patient gets the best possible care. She tries to make the patient’s journey easier and less traumatic. Betty Long has been on both sides and Dr Oz asked her why she thinks that our medical system is failing? She said that we have one of the best health care systems in the world with some of the best and brightest doctors and nurses. The trouble comes into play because people become worried about profit vs care and bureaucracy vs the patient. Doctors need to be more compassionate and focused on the patient.
Dr Oz: What You Must Ask Your Doctor
Here are the three questions that you must ask at your next doctor’s visit:
1. What Do You Think This Could Be?
While this question might sound obvious, not everyone remembers to ask it. Patients can get the conversation started by asking this and learning about what kind of plan the doctor will put in place.
2. What Do You Hope To Learn From This Test?
Betty Long called this the Game Plan. Ask why tests are being ordered and what the doctor will learn from the tests. What is the timeline (days? weeks? months?) because this will help you to frame your expectations. And never assume that no news is good news. Take an active role and demand the results of every single test that is done. Also, when a test is ordered, find out if it is covered by your health insurance or if your have a high deductible insurance plan, then you might not want to pay for it and should discuss this with your doctor.
3. What Are My Options?
You have the right to accept, decline or engage with your doctor in what are alternatives for any test. You can also opt to get a second opinion from another doctor, which Dr Oz said is the brave thing to do. Whenever a doctor orders a test and it does not sit well with me, I always go for a second opinion… and sometimes even a third or fourth opinion.