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Patients Should Ask Their Doctors Questions

Patients Should Ask Their Doctors QuestionsTufts Researcher Says Patients Shouldn't Be Afraid To Push For Answers From Their Doctors.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.15.01] Pushy patients may not only receive more information, they might even receive better treatment, says a Tufts researcher. Tufts' Sherrie Kaplan tells US News and World Report that patients should head into their doctor appointments prepared to talk and ask questions.

The social scientist at Tufts' Medical School suggests some basic research prior to a doctor visit.

"That way, instead of sitting in the waiting room reading old copies of US News and World Report, you can be preparing," she tells the news magazine.

Speaking up isn't always easy -- especially when the doctor appears to be in a rush.

"Patients feel vulnerable. You're sick, you're scared and half the time you're naked!" Kaplan says.

But the pay off from a little assertiveness may be worth it.

US News reports, "It's the active, assertive, focused patients who have better health outcomes, Kaplan and her colleague and husband, physician Sheldon Greenfield, have found in studies of diabetes and arthritis patients. One reason is they are more likely to stick with a treatment plan. After all, they had a hand in designing it."

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