The sub-title on this article sends chills down my spine…” Doctors across the country keep wheeling us in and cutting us open, even when they’re missing something vitally important: a good reason.”

Here at Legal Medicine, we are always suggesting that you need to take charge of your own medical care. Here is another reason why.

In an article on MSN and also on Men’s Health, they list these questions that you should ask your doctor:

1. How necessary is this procedure? Some doctors are salesman in that they know the odds you will come back to purchase drop dramatically once you leave their office.

2. What are the alternatives to surgery? There is almost always an alternative to invasive or risky surgeries.

3. What will this test show? Some tests show anomalies that might otherwise go unnoticed. But just because you have an anomaly doesn’t mean you are sick and need treatment right away.

4. Can I see a specialist in another group? Doctors who work closely with one another will tend to have the same views and opinions on treatment. When you get a referral, ask to see someone outside of your doctor’s group.

Surgeons performing unnecessary surgeries has been a problem from the start of medicine. In 1974, Congress supported a major investigation into unnecessary surgeries and found that surgeons had performed 2.4 million unnecessary operations, resulting in a price tag of almost $4 billion and 11,900 deaths. It has been just over 30 years since that first study and the numbers have remained disturbingly steady.

Dr. Ronald Grelsamer , an orthopedic surgeon and knee specialist at Mount Sinai Medical Center is quoted, “The only defenses for a patient in today’s climate are skepticism and education…If you take your sore knee to a doctor and he orders an MRI before thoroughly examining you, then get off the table and limp out as fast as possible. There is no replacement for listening to a patient and thinking through a problem. Unfortunately, a lot of doctors, and a whole lot of patients, think surgery can be a substitute. The end result is a whole lot of pain.”

I don’t think it could be better said. So…do your homework and don’t just accept surgery as the only option. You will only be helping yourself!

Read the full article here.

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