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Take Charge of Your Health

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/25/2007 | Health

It is important to regularly visit your doctor. As you grow older, there will be a need to have regular physicals and other exams, and you may need to begin taking or increasing some of your medications.

You should become more informed as to why certain tests are needed and why you are on certain medications. Find out some of the risks or side effects involved.

Medical Tests

1) Why do you need the test and what will the doctor need to do differently if the test is positive?

2) Is the test reliable, painful, and is there anything that can go wrong?

3) Is the test expensive and covered by your health care provider? If not, is there a test that might be used which would cost less?

4) If you have concerns about the test, let your doctor know. This is not the time to be passive. He might be able to ease your fears and, then again, after talking to him you might just decide you are not going to take this test and he will have to find an alternative.


1) What is the name of the medication and exactly why do you need to take it?

2) Is this something you will need to take for the rest of your life? Is there a way to achieve the same end results with a change in your diet?

3) What are the side effects and will this medication interact with any other medications you are currently taking? Do not forget to mention any herbal supplements you might be taking.

4) Can a generic version be taken? In some cases, such as a kidney transplant, your surgeon may tell you anti-rejection medications must not be generic. You need to know this.

5) If you have concerns or reasons why you do not want to take this medication, discuss this with your doctor. They need to be aware of this. They may be able to find a medication you are comfortable with.

With all the information now available on the Internet, you can thoroughly find out all about medical tests and medication. Use this as a method to educate yourself not as a self-diagnosis. Write down what you have found and discuss it with your doctor.

Too many times people tend to simply let their doctor make any and all health decisions without being involved in any way. You need to be in charge of your health. Your doctor is obviously more knowledgeable, but they are more than willing to discuss your concerns with you.

If they are not, it's time to find another doctor.