Advice on how to prepare and be a proactive patient

As we read through the various stories of BAF members, it becomes painfully clear just how responsible we, and our family members, are for getting good treatment during our doctor visits and hospital stays.

Here are links to a couple of articles that have recently appeared in the AARP magazines and news letters that may be beneficial.

"Patient Checklist for Your Hospital Stay", Advice on how to prepare and be a proactive patient

"Protect Yourself From Hospital Errors"


Hi Carole...both articles are great...I must tell you I feel like I am fairly intelligent and proactive ... and it has gotten me nowhere but rolled eyes but Doctors...infact, my 6 week checkup...I had a list of question for the neurosurgeon...after about 3 he stopped me in my tracks...and shut me down...and that was it...and God I didn't want to make him mad...he would be doing my angio, etc., in the future...I have felt since all of this...less involved and more at someone's Mercy...this is just me...~ I wish things would get better and the medical profession would change...and be alittle more open...~ Discouraged at times...Cyber~thoughts your way...Colleen

Hi Colleen,

I can relate to your experiences. Before my recent angiogram, I sent my new neurosurgeon a two page e-mail with questions and requested an appointment to discuss. His office promptly scheduled the appointment. However, when he came into the room he was quite defensive but not rude. He complained about patients getting information from the internet and described some of the questions as "invasive".

After he finished, I looked directly at him and in calm voice explained that I had come to him to discuss the questions that I had as a result of what I found on the internet and in BAF discussions because I was relying on him. This appeared to reassure him and allow him to relax.

I'm happy to report that he then proceeded to answer all of my questions in detail. He seemed to respect that I was not afraid or overly emotional. He modified his treatment plan to give me and my husband more input. My husband and I left the visit with a greater sense of trust.

Our interaction with the surgeon and his team on the day of the test and during our follow-up visit suggest that our trust is well placed.

As patients, we need to keep in mind that while we may be just "one of many procedures" to those treating us, they are impacting the "only life" we have.