Key To Health Care


The healthcare crisis might shut down the government. It’s above our pay grade to fix but there’s one thing we can do to keep from getting ground up in the gears of whatever system prevails:

Be a client, not a patient.

I explained the difference in a post I wrote a few years ago:

By definition a patient is, “one who receives medical attention or treatment.” The archaic meaning was “One who suffers,” from the Latin verb meaning “to endure.” A client on the other hand is, “the party for whom professional services are rendered.”

  • A patient is the object of medical care; a client is the subject of medical services. In language as in life, an object is passive, a subject is active.
  • A patient complies with the experts. A client consults the experts, then follows what seems the best advice.
  • A patient goes where sent and doesn’t change doctors or clinics. A client tries to find the best physicians and facilities realistically available
  • A patient might complain but would never contradict an authority. A client will ask questions and weigh alternatives before deciding.
  • A patient asks “What?” A client asks “Why?”

Your healthcare options may be limited by income or the program you qualify for but your attitude is key.

Doctors are very busy; they don’t have time to think through every case: Generalists aren’t equipped to drill down in every discipline. Specialists have to focus on their area of expertise. Sometimes it takes a team to come up with a diagnosis and prognosis.

They may be the pros but you have to be the quarterback.

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5 thoughts on “Key To Health Care

  1. I’ve had too many experiences where I or my son have been consider “non-compliant” and patronized by doctors and other healthcare providers. I just recently had a similar experience and, after prayer and counsel, decided to ask for another doctor. Why submit ourselves to demeaning treatment when we can advocate for ourselves? Who knows our bodies better than we ourselves? (I miss Dr. Dax so much!)

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Mike. I know that doctors and nurses dread a half-informed google-taught client but in a very real sense whether or not the medical community is perturbed by engaged and inquisitive patient-clients doesn’t matter. It is the client that must live with (or suffer with, or die because of) the advise or course of action suggested. Your view is right on target.

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