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Are More Patients Really Taking More Responsibility For Their Health?

One of the main goals of my Web site is to help patients take greater responsibility for their own health issues through safer, healthier means and not merely rely on the debatable wisdom of governmental health experts looking for the next drug-based "cure."

So, how do physicians react to patients who question their treatments? An interesting piece in the Washington Post offers a first-person account from one physician who recalls treating such encounters with patients with a great deal of skepticism that, over the years, has since been replaced with "an appreciation for patients who inform themselves."

That's a wonderful thing, because a number of studies have shown people who take more responsibility for their health typically have better outcomes. And, sad to say, the opposite -- poor patient literacy leading to poorer health -- is true too.

What was very telling and interesting about this physician's change in philosophy: An encounter with an attorney with high cholesterol readings who didn't want to take a statin drug.

Washington Post July 11, 2006

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