If you feel that you are unable to successfully perform the task of being your own health care and supportive services advocate get in contact with a health service organization and enroll in a case management program. This can have a significant impact on your satisfaction with the medical care you receive and your perception of its success at meeting all your support services needs.
Make sure the doctor will support your decisions as to who is granted visitation rights during hospitalization, and make sure the doctor has read and understood any medical power of attorney you may have prepared.
Check to see if the hospital that the doctor is affiliated with is classified as a high-volume hospital. High-volume hospitals have lower mortality rates for patients.
Even if you have to pay for a visit it can be very important to interview the doctor and make some determination as to if you feel you can communicate with and be understood by the doctor in question. Uncertainty about what your doctor means when he describes your prognosis is common in the doctor patient relationship and is something you need to work with your doctor to avoid.
If you are using any alternative or complementary medical therapies it is important to discuss them with your doctor and make sure they are at least informed if not in agreement with your choices, most physicians will not take the lead in bringing these matters up.
In summation it has been found that patients feel that their relationship with their doctor plays an important role in their treatment. They stress that you must feel you are on an equal basis with your doctor and that both you and the doctor play an active and equal role in the formulation of your treatment plan.