Letters to the Editor

Ask more questions

Bottom Line: I write today to suggest that we, the patients and families of patients, have to be informed users of the medical community. We must pay closer attention to what diagnostic tests or treatments we truly need.

We can forgo exams checking for problems that are not relative to our medical history. We can trust our family care office to advise about the need for a specialist. We can ask lots of questions. What is this? Why this? How does this work? What choices do I have in treating this problem?

The list of questions we don’t ask and get answers to is endless. This is the real problem that should have been exposed by the article which ended by saying the patient did not need the specialist at all. One tiny sentence told the real tale ignored by the headline.

Some of us can remember when we paid our doctor for each visit and only used insurance for expensive and much longer hospital stays for serious illnesses or surgeries. In those days, we could depend on our personal physician’s advice. Today, passing us on to a specialist saves the office time and money.