Dr. Makary’s Tips for Medical Testing
Meet Dr. Martin Makary: spokesman for plain-speak.
At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Makary is leading a national trend in health care that honors patients as partners in their own care.
You’ll like his blunt honesty and advice!
“Fifteen to 30 percent of everything we do—tests, medications, and procedures—is unnecessary, our research has shown. It’s partly because of patient demand; it’s partly to prevent malpractice.
When your doctor orders a test, ask why, what he expects to learn, and how your care will change if you don’t have it.”
As you know, tests are expensive! Often, they take a ton of time, too – scheduling, getting there, waiting, follow-ups with your doctor. Even if you have great insurance that covers the cost, the expense of unnecessary testing contributes to higher health care costs for everyone.
So… what can you do in that moment when your doctor orders a test your gut may tell you is “borderline” necessary for you?
Be as blunt as Dr. Makary, just ask!
“Is this test a NEED to know, or a NICE to know?”
Still a bit confused about whether the test makes sense for you? Take Dr. Makary’s advice and dig further: ask…
“How would test results would affect my care?”
We realize this is a new approach to managing your medical care. Most of us were taught to simply follow the doctor’s orders, but in this case, the doctor’s order is:
Speak up, ask questions!
A good result is good communication – how good partnerships are built. Just what you want for health care that’s right for you!