Patients’ Roles and Responsibilities

See what patients’ roles encompass. With video.

Earlier this month, I gave a presentation to about 65 residents and other doctors on “Roles in Patient-Doctor Relationships: Seeing Both Sides.”

This is the second post:

      • Doctors’ Roles and Responsibilities (including doctor morale)
      • Patients’ Roles and Responsibilities (and what doctors wish patients knew)
      • Stages of Patient Frustration and Satisfaction
      • Doctor Actions Improving Patient Relationships
      • Patient Actions Improving Doctor Relationships
      • We’re Not There Yet on Doctor-Patient Relationships

Patients typically have the roles and responsibilities highlighted in this image. How do YOU rate YOURSELF across these roles and responsibilities?

Patients' Roles and Responsibilities

As patients, it is also vital for us to educate ourselves. This video shows a few such factors.


 

Do You Think Your Doctors Are Caring?

A checklist that you could use to rate your doctors.

A few months ago, we featured a YouTube video on doctors and compassion. In that video, it was reported that a doctor could show compassion in less than a minute.

Today, we ask: Do you think your doctors are caring?

As part of a research project, Mark E. Quirk, et al., devised the following checklist. How would EACH of your doctors score on the checklist? If a doctor’s score is low, why don’t you switch to another physician?

Do You Think Your Doctor Is Caring?
 

Regularly Get Your Heart Tested

Treat your heart well.

According to the CDC:

    • “About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year –that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.
    • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.
    • Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.”

Here is an excellent video that encourages you to do proper testing. 🙂


 

Knowing Yourself Is Helpful

Insights on chronic illnesses.

We have regularly written about the value of health care knowledge. For example, see: Insights on Health LiteracyHealth Rankings in America Cancer Health.

Today, let’s look at the observations of a Crohn’s disease survivor. As Tessa Miller writes for the NY Times:

“Finding out you have a chronic illness — one that will, by definition, never go away — changes things, both for you and those you love. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t know how much my life would change. There’s no conversation about that foggy space between the common cold and terminal cancer, where illness won’t go away but won’t kill you, so none of us know what ‘chronic illness’ means until we’re thrown into being sick forever.”

“Chronic illness patients not only face painful physical symptoms, but also mental ones that linger even when the disease is well controlled. A therapist should be considered a crucial part of your care team, just as important as a gastroenterologist or cardiologist.”

“Your relationship with yourself changes. You grieve a version of yourself that doesn’t exist anymore, and a future version that looks different than you’d planned. You might have to give up career goals, hobbies and family plans, learning a ‘new normal’ in their place.”

“Chronically ill people research their diseases ad nauseam. They try more treatments than they can count. In many cases, great scientific minds can’t crack a cause or cure. So unless someone asks for your advice, don’t offer it.”

“There’s a sense of shame that comes with chronic illness that pressures patients into secrecy, making them feel like they can’t discuss their disease outside of the doctor’s office. Secrecy bolsters the lack of public conversation and knowledge, which feeds the shame patients feel.”

“Living with chronic illness makes every day a little harder, but it also makes every day a little sweeter. Though I don’t know what my future holds, I’m overwhelmed with a gratitude I didn’t have before my diagnosis — some days I marvel at just being alive.”

Click the image to read more.

Credit: Mark Pernice

 

Fast Food Getting Even More Unhealthy

Watch what you eat. Especially fast food.

Last month, we asked: Is U.S. Food Safe? Today, we note fast food getting even more unhealthy. That’s somewhat hard to grasp because: (1) Fast food has always been high in calories and less-than-optimal ingredients. (2) There has been such a push in recent years for healthier food. (3) There are many critics of fast food.

New Research Shows Fast Food Getting Even More Unhealthy

Amazingly, Niall McCarthy reports for Statista that:

“Across the United States, 93.3 million people were obese in 2015-2016. While 36.6 percent of the country’s adults consumed fast food on a given day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has now found that the size of calorie account of fast food has been increasing steadily since the mid-1980s.”

 
“The researchers studied 1,787 mains, sides, and desserts at 10 popular fast food chains from 1986 to 2016. The restaurants involved were Arby’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Dairy Queen, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s.”

Check out the study highlights in the following Statista infographic.

Fast Food Getting Even More Unhealthy

 

Be Careful with OTC Drugs

OTC drugs are not risk-free!

For many people, there is a misconception that over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are always safer than prescription drugs. And that simply is not true.

Consider these observations from AARP:

“If the good news is that over-the-counter pain killers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen won’t put you at risk for addiction issues like prescription opioids or narcotics can, the less good news is that no pain pill comes without the potential for problems, says Nitin Sekhri, medical director of pain management at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.”

“Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is considered the safest option by many, and yet, Sekhri notes, it’s still to blame for about 50 percent of acute liver failures in the U.S. Acetaminophen also is the leading reason behind calls to poison control and to blame for more than 50,000 emergency room visits a year.”

“Often problems arise from people not realizing they’ve taken as much acetaminophen as they have. The over-the-counter painkiller isn’t just in Tylenol: It shows up in remedies meant to fight allergies, colds, flu, coughs, and sleeplessness. It’s also an ingredient in prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet.”

Click the image to read a lot more.

Be Careful with OTC Drugs

 

Social Interactions and Our Health

How others affect our health

Jo Bibby, reporting for the UK’s Our Health, asked “How do our family, friends and community influence our health?”

“Going beyond the simple premise that human interactions are good for us and necessary to our wellbeing, this infographic shows how these relationships provide the foundations necessary for a healthy life.”

* “Feeling supported by others – and how this makes us feel about ourselves, our sense of agency and what we believe is possible – is evidently essential for our wellbeing. And it isn’t simply about having people who care for us. Just as important for our self-esteem is our own opportunity to care for and support others.”

* “Beyond our immediate relationships, our connections within and across the communities we are part of – where we live, where we learn, where we work – are all critical to feeling included and valued. Studies have shown that feelings of belonging and trust in others were the strongest predictor of mental wellbeing after controlling for physical health problems.

* “Acting on these feelings of inclusion – coming together with others in our communities to volunteer or participate in collective activities – enhances our sense of purpose and shared identity. It also improves our coping ability during times of stress.”

* “From community participation comes community empowerment. A flourishing society requires people to feel a sense of control and collective voice that can enable them to influence positive change. Community empowerment is increasingly being shown to be a route to addressing health inequalities.”

Social Interactions and Our Health