Among the most important decisions that you will make along your journey is who the members of your healthcare team will be. It is easy to become a passive observer as your healthcare team is assembling if you have just been diagnosed with a life-altering condition. Perhaps you have regular checkups at a primary care physician who takes your insurance and is convenient to your work. And then you see specialists and attend clinics and hospitals recommended by this doctor. Before you know it, this group of individuals, who will play an essential role in determining the course of your journey and its success, has been put together without much input at all from its most important member: you.
Most people spend more time looking for their next car than they do looking for their doctor. ~ Cleveland Clinic
Think about it; when you buy a car, do you go to the lot around the corner and buy the first car that you see? No, of course you don’t. You read Consumer Reports, you talk to friends and family about the cars that they drive, and finally, you test drive a number of models before deciding on the car that is best for you. In the same way, it only makes sense to do a little research about healthcare providers in your area. Then, you might want to ask people you trust about the providers that they use and whether they like them or not. Finally, you can’t be afraid to take a new provider out for a ‘test drive’ before deciding if this professional is right for you.
It is very important to inform each of your healthcare providers about all of the treatment approaches you are using. This is particularly important if you choose an integrative medicine approach that involves healthcare providers or treatments from several different medical providers.