Ask your doctor to give you easy-to-read brochures or other patient-friendly literature so you can learn about your diagnosis, medical tests, and treatment. Make sure you understand everything. If you don’t understand something, keep asking questions until you do.

  • Seek information about illnesses or conditions that affect you, options and possible treatment plans. Good sources of information include your doctor, libraries, medical society websites, and support groups.
  • Ask questions of your doctor, nurse, pharmacist and other healthcare professionals, and choose a doctor, clinic, pharmacy and hospital experienced in the type of care you require.
  • Take notes when you talk with your doctor and ask him or her for written information.
  • Thoroughly read all medical forms and make sure you understand everything before you sign.
  • Become familiar with how to operate equipment used in your care.
  • Never be afraid to seek more than one opinion. It is not an insult to your doctor. If you are unsure about the nature of your illness or the best treatment, consult one or two more specialists. Getting more information lets you be more confident in your decisions.
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