Be a Prepared Patient can help you make informed decisions about your health and health care. We've gathered a collection of trusted resources, tips and stories from patients, caregivers, and health care experts about finding good care and making the most of it. Be a Prepared Patient accepts no corporate sponsorship, earns no revenue from any links and is completely free of advertising.

New App for iPhone

Our new, free app AfterShock: Facing a Serious Diagnosis provides a basic roadmap for the first days and weeks after getting a serious diagnosis. The app offers concise information and links to trusted resources to help you regain a bit of control during this turbulent time.

Understanding a New Prescription

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

Vitamins and Supplements: Before You Dive In

Vitamins, herbs and other dietary supplements are sold as natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals and many people turn to them in an attempt to improve their health.

Finding a New Doctor

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.

Talking About Medical Tests

Doctors run tests to check your health or to figure out what’s wrong. Here are some basic questions you should ask about medical tests.

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

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.

How Do You Tell Your Employer That You Are Sick?

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

Sharing Medical Information With Multiple Doctors: Your Medical Records

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

How to Find and Use Health Insurance

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.

Do You Need a Yearly Medical Check-Up?

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.

Making Plans for Your End-of-Life Health Care

It’s important to make your wishes known to your family and doctors regarding treatment at the end-of-life. Here are resources to help you have this conversation.


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Find Good Health Care

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

Pay for Your Healthcare

Learn more about health insurance terms, selecting a plan, and Medicare and Medicaid. Plus, resources for help with paying for prescriptions. More

Talking with Your Doctors

Advice on how to explain your symptoms, talk to doctors and ask the right questions about tests and prescriptions. More

Organize Your Health Care

Tips for doctors' appointments, managing health records and dealing with illness and work. More

Make Good Treatment Decisions

Treatment may involve making important decisions. Here's advice on understanding your options, including watchful waiting and getting a second opinion. More

Participate in Your Treatment

How to manage medical treatments at home, including medications and dealing with side effects. More

Seek Knowledge About Your Health

Advice on understanding your risk for disease(s) and finding online health information you can trust. More

Get Preventative Health Care

Advice about physical check-ups, disease screening, dental exams, vaccinations and immunizations. More

Promote Your Health

Information on healthy lifestyles, improving health habits and help with common concerns, such as weight loss and exercise, pain and depression. More

Plan for Your End of Life Care

Information on caregiving, long-term and nursing care, palliative and hospice care and advance directives. More