Not doctors...Not policymakers...Not presidents, but 'YOU,' said Dr. Albert Mulley, Jr. just last month while speaking at TEDxDartmouth 2011. Mulley is the Director of the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science and his research focuses on the support of patients and clinicians in their medical decision making roles.
It's simple, really...be engaged in your own healthcare and that of your loved ones who aren't able or yet old enough to engage (likely, your children)—ask questions, express your preferences, spark conversations with your physicians and your family members about your care, do your research. Be ever-present in and take full stewardship over your health care goals and make them known to the people providing your care! As patients, we are responsible for participating in this way because 'if not here, now and us...where, when and who will fix healthcare?'
- If you haven't already, complete your advance directive.
- If you have, revisit and tweak it as often as your life circumstances change.
- When you have doctor's visits, be ready to express your personal goals of care with your physician and be prepared to question anything you don't understand.