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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Secrets Your Doctor Isn't Spilling

What you don't know could hurt you. It is so true! And that is the reason why we need to communicate to our doctor well. We need to tell what we feel,need and ask more about our health.

The relationship you have with your physician is a very important one. It should be rooted in trust and complete honesty. However, like most relationships, it's not perfect, and as you're likely to keep a few facts to yourself, your doctor is probably harboring some secrets of his own. Read on for important information your doctor may be holding from you--because you deserve to know the truth.

You probably don't need an antibiotic. A 2007 analysis of information gathered from the General Practice Research Database, the world's largest computerized collection of medical-record information, revealed that primary-care physicians prescribe antibiotics up to 80 percent of the time for viral illnesses such as ear infections, upper-respiratory-tract infections, and sinusitis. Though medication may put your mind at ease, it will do nothing to eradicate a viral infection, since antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. If anything, by taking an unnecessary antibiotic, you're contributing to the ever-growing problem of antibiotic-resistant diseases.

And you may not need that CAT scan either. A report issued by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine estimated that mistakes made by doctors and medical personnel injure about 1 million people and kill up to 98,000 in the United States each year. To prevent such errors, and the lawsuits that could result, doctors overdo it by ordering a slew of gratuitous tests. In fact, the American Medical Association found that 62 percent of residents keep the possibility of a malpractice suit at the top of their mind when they make decisions about how to treat their patients.

Don't schedule surgery for a Friday afternoon. Complications due to a surgical procedure usually won't surface until the day after. So if you have an operation on a Friday and develop an infection that Saturday, for example, you'll be stuck in a hospital that's likely to be understaffed while your doctor may not be immediately available. A study published in The Annals of Surgery in November 2007 reported that patients who underwent surgery on a Friday and recuperated on a regular hospital floor over the weekend were 17 percent more likely to die in the following 30 days than were those who had surgery earlier in the week.

Sources: Real Age

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