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Who’s Who in Your Doctor’s Office

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors

Medical offices have a lot of staff but one common goal—helping you, the patient. Here are some of the people you may meet during your doctor’s appointment.

Staying Well at Work

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

More and more employers are offering workplace wellness programs-but do they work?

Tips for Workplace Health

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Quick tips for integrating healthy habits into your work day

Getting Health Insurance

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

Don’t have health insurance? Here’s advice on how to find the right insurance for your needs.

Health Insurance: Glossary of Common Terms

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

Don’t know a deductible from a premium? Here’s a helpful guide to health insurance terms.

What Are Medicare and Medicaid?

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

Learn more about the U.S. government’s health insurance programs for older adults and people with low-incomes and resources.

How Much Will Your Health Care Cost?

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

It can be hard to figure out how much your health care will cost ahead of time. Here are some tips for preparing for the cost of your procedures.

Paying for Prescription Medications

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

Prescription drugs can be expensive. Here’s how to get help paying for them and finding lower cost options.

Handling an Insurance Dispute

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

What to do if your health insurance denies you coverage for a procedure.

Long-Term Care and Long-Term Care Insurance

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Plan for Your End-of-Life Care

Learn about long-term care and whether you need long-term care insurance.

Seeking a Second... or Third... Opinion

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Is it OK to seek a second (or a third, or a fourth) opinion on your diagnosis? Many people feel uncomfortable with the idea that they are questioning the authority or expertise of their physician.

Sorting Out Medical Opinion Overload

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Where do you turn when your health care team reaches an impasse, even as an urgent medical problem calls for decisions and choices that you simply don't feel qualified to make?

Coping With the High Costs of Prescriptions

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

As patients pay more for their prescription drugs, many people decide to cut their pills in half or opt out of taking the drugs altogether. But there are safer ways to cut costs than skimping on — or skipping — the medicines you need.

Chronic Conditions: When Do You Call the Doctor?

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

From high cholesterol to HIV, millions of Americans have a medical condition that they manage mostly on their own. How do you know when it’s time to call in the professionals?

Your Doctor’s Office: 10 Things You Should Know

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Organize Your Health Care

These 10 steps will help you get the information you need for your doctor’s appointment.

Finding Treatment Information

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Make Good Treatment Decisions

Want to find out more about the treatments your doctors suggest? Here are some resources for doing your research and comparing your options.

Understanding Medical Terms

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Make Good Treatment Decisions

Doctors can sometimes use unfamiliar and complicated terms to describe your illness and treatment. Here are some resources to help you understand.

Managing Your Medications

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Participate in Your Treatment

Part of participating in your treatment is remembering to take your medication as prescribed. This task can get difficult if you aren’t feeling well or are juggling multiple prescriptions

Getting Support for Healthy Living

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Sometimes it can be easier to live well with help from others. Here are some helpful sites to connect with organizations and people who understand what you’re going through.

Uncovering Your Health Risks

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Seek Knowledge About Your Health

You could be at risk for disease based on your age, health behaviors or family history. Here’s how to find out.

Online Health Resources: Trusted Sources

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Seek Knowledge About Your Health

Here are a few suggestions for reliable, accurate online health information.

Finding Health Information You Can Trust

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Seek Knowledge About Your Health

Want to learn how to separate quality health information from inaccurate or even dangerous websites? Here’s some advice.

What Is Watchful Waiting?

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Make Good Treatment Decisions

Sometimes, the best treatment is to wait and see. Learn more about watchful waiting.

Getting the Most Out of a Doctor’s Appointment

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors

Doctor’s appointments are often brief. Here’s how to quickly explain what’s wrong so you can get the help you need.

How Do You Tell Your Employer That You Are Sick?

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Organize Your Health Care

If you expect to miss work due to your or a loved one’s illness, here’s what to tell your employer.

Asking Your Doctor Questions

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors

How to ask your doctor questions so that you can understand your diagnosis and treatment options.

Handling Treatment Side Effects

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Participate in Your Treatment

Sometimes treatment can produce troubling side effects. Here’s how to recognize them and what to do if you have them.

Sharing Medical Information With Multiple Doctors: Your Medical Records

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Organize Your Health Care

How to get a copy of your medical records for your personal files and for your doctors.

Should I Get a Second Opinion?

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Make Good Treatment Decisions

Different doctors can suggest different diagnoses or ways to treat your illness. Here’s how to decide whether you should get a second opinion.

Cutting Through ICU Confusion

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Every year more than 5 million people in the United States spend time in intensive care units for acute injuries or life-threatening illnesses. For patients, family members and friends, the ICU experience is often emotional and confusing.

In Case of Emergency: Who's Who in the ER

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Knowing who you will likely encounter during an ER visit may help you get the best care at a time when you may be feeling anxious and afraid.

Retail Clinics: What's in Store for Health Care

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

You're sick, but your doctor's office says the next open appointment is in two weeks. Or you're traveling, don't have a primary care physician or don't have health insurance. For all these reasons and more, potential patients are turning increasingly to retail clinics to cure their minor ailments.

Hospital Report Cards: Grading Facilities Near You

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Consumers are awash in information they can use to find the best deals on everything from dishwashers to car insurance. But is it possible to comparison shop for a hospital?

When Getting to the Doctor Is Half the Battle

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

All patients have their stories of hassles: hustling against traffic to inconvenient doctor appointments, not to mention waiting on hold to schedule a follow-up visit. But what if you couldn't read the road signs on your way or hear the options on your physician's answering service?

Making a Pact With Your Doctors

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

A shared care plan can be a guide to treatment goals that you and your doctors agree on, and it can set the rules of engagement as you pursue your treatment.

Finding a New Doctor

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Find Good Health Care

Choosing a doctor and building a relationship with him or her is an important first step to getting and staying healthy.
Here's advice on how to locate a new physician to make sure you get care that fits your needs.

How to Choose a Hospital

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Find Good Health Care

Sometimes, choosing a hospital is a matter of picking the one closest to you, the one where your doctor works. But if you have options, there are resources to help select the best one for you.

Pay for Your Health Care

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

Seek insurance and manage the worrisome chores of arranging and paying for care.

Seek Knowledge About Your Health

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Seek Knowledge About Your Health

Find accurate information that helps you with choices about your health.

Make Good Treatment Decisions

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Make Good Treatment Decisions

We must understand what our treatment choices are and their risks and benefits.

How to Find and Use Health Insurance

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Whether you have a preexisting condition or not, are new to shopping for insurance or trying to figure out what coverage you do have, there are resources to help with this often complicated but important purchase.

Reducing Your Risk of Medical Errors

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Recovering from a knee replacement is difficult under the best of circumstances, but for Herminia Briones, the year following her surgery was filled with unexpected pain, complications and confusion. Her repeated attempts to draw attention to her problems went unheeded, beginning an unfortunate and not uncommon struggle with medical error. Why do medical errors happen and how can you help protect yourself from harm?

Communicate With Your Doctors

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors

You and your doctor need accurate information from each other. Open communication with your doctor is one of the most important factors in getting and staying healthy.

Understanding a New Prescription

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors

Got a new prescription? Here are some tips for managing your new medication.

Talking About Your Symptoms

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Communicate With Your Doctors

Describing your symptoms well can help provide clues to what’s wrong. Here’s advice on how to tell your story.

Find Good Health Care

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Find Good Health Care

The quality of doctors and hospitals varies. Here is information to help you find the right care.

Deciding When to Seek Care

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Find Good Health Care

It can be hard to decide just when to go to the doctor or other medical professional for a problem. These resources can help you make the call.

Do You Need a Yearly Medical Check-Up?

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

We've all heard about well-baby visits, but if you're a healthy adult, you probably have no plan to see a doctor. When there's nothing to complain about, many of us go years without a comprehensive medical check-up.

Young Adults Taking the Health Care Reins

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Your parents still might be willing to do your laundry, but if you’re over 18, they can’t make your medical decisions. Are you ready to navigate the adult health care system?

Using Physician Rating Websites

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

New health review sites promise to help you make this important decision for yourself or your loved ones. However, patients and physicians alike are finding that these doctor reviews aren’t as transparent or useful as they might seem.

Watchful Waiting: When Treatment Can Wait

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

For some patients, delaying treatment while regularly monitoring the progress of disease may benefit them more than a rush to pharmaceutical or surgical options.

Side Effects: When Silence Isn't Golden

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Most treatments have some sort of side effect associated with them, and many of us may wonder if side effects are simply the price we must pay for a necessary treatment. But side effects shouldn't be taken lightly, for a number of reasons.

Your Doctor's Office, Demystified

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Long gone are the days when all nurses sported identical uniforms and only physicians wore white coats and scrubs. Today, when visiting your doctor's office, it can be difficult to know with whom you're speaking and what role they play in your health care.

Talking About Symptoms With Your Health Care Team

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

"What brings you here today?" It's a simple question that's at the heart of many patient-doctor conversations, but it's not a question to take lightly.

The Handoff: Your Roadmap to a New Doctor's Care

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Sooner or later, most patients run up against a diagnosis that sends them from their primary care doctor's care into the hands of a new physician. In medical circles, this transition is called the "handoff" — a casual name that conceals the complications and risks of this journey.

Effective Patienthood Begins with Good Communication

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Given all the obstacles that prevent us from getting to the doctor's office — scheduling an appointment, digging out the insurance card and plain old procrastination — it is good health sense to make the most of your time when you are finally face-to-face with your health care provider. Easier said than done, says health researcher Sherrie Kaplan.