We visit the doctor seeking health. We may hand ourselves and our condition over, confident that the doctor will make us better. We thus disengage ourselves from the system. We allow the doctor to do their job: assess our symptoms and prescribe a course of action. We respond by filling the script and taking a medication. We then expect results.
In this model, we totally overlook our own responsibility. We too are responsible for our health and safety when seeking medical attention. Medication therapies and other prescriptions for wellness are only as successful as we are at following them with accuracy. Our accuracy is improved with knowledge. If we know 'what', 'why', 'how', we’ll stay safe and see better results.
When we leave the doctor’s office, our health and safety are in our own hands. To ensure our health is improved and safety preserved, we need to be knowledgeable—of our condition and how we can improve it.
It is imperative: Don't just listen, Understand. A doctor can talk at you—tell you your condition and what therapies or procedures will follow. If you merely listen you won't understand the deeper, more fundamental ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’. More complete understanding of your health condition and how the prescribed therapy helps will allow you to follow directions with accuracy, increase the efficiency of therapies, and safely improve your health.
Safety is in your hands. 10% of all hospital admissions are the result of medication errors, and that's just the beginning. The total annual cost of these errors is $250 - $300 B. Furthermore, 25% of all nursing home admissions are the result of these same errors.