Transparency is a hot topic these days. We want our politicians and businesses to be “transparent” in all their dealings. After all, we have the right to know what’s going on ... right? As a health advocate, I believe the same thing applies to my relationship with my doctor, but I’m the one who has to be transparent! I have to give my doctor all the info he needs to take care of me and not keep any secrets.
What, you say? You don’t mean tell him how many cigarettes I really smoke? Or the cigar I throw in once in a while – that doesn’t really count, right? And the herbal supplements and minerals I’ve been taking, they’re all natural so he doesn’t really need to know about them. Or over-the-counter stuff like anti-aging supplements or hormones. Right?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong! When you go to the doctor, you literally put your life in his or her hands. You give your doctor the power to make life-changing decisions about your health, like deciding on a treatment or prescribing a medication. He or she is doing it to try to improve your life. But if you are keeping secrets, your doctor doesn’t have a fair chance to succeed. And whether you realize it or not, what you really want is for your doctor to be the most successful person you know. Your health depends on it!
You may not realize it, but I would bet you’ve kept secrets and even lied to your doctor. You probably didn’t do it on purpose. But the result was the same- your doctor didn’t have the complete story. To try to fix this problem, I decided to keep a binder of all my medical information. For me, it’s all about complete disclosure. And I figured if all my info is together in one big file that I can take to my appointment, the odds are way better that I will give my doctor the whole story.
For all the details on what’s in my binder and how to create one for yourself, check my blog on organizing your medical records.