A Healthy Partnership

It is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you haven’t already established an ongoing relationship with a physician, why not do it now?

Where to begin: Talk to family members and friends and find out what they think about their own physicians. You can also call the UH Parma Medical Center Physician Referral Service at (440) 743-4900 for the names of physicians in this area.

What next: Many physicians offer “meet and greet” appointments at no charge. These are generally brief, so come prepared with your questions. Office location also often plays a role in decision-making. After you’ve done your homework, choose the physician who best meets your needs, someone you can talk to without hesitation. Make an appointment for an examination and testing to diagnose and treat any underlying health problems and to establish a baseline health profile. If medications are prescribed, take them as directed. Schedule necessary follow-up appointments and by all means ask questions.

Maintaining the relationship: Don’t wait until you’ve taken the last pill in the bottle before you request a refill. Call well in advance. Be aware that an office visit may be required before the refill is authorized, depending on the medication and the date of your last visit. If you cannot keep an office appointment, call and cancel. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

Too much information: Be careful when you surf the internet for medical information. Some of it is very useful and some of it is not; the same goes for seeking medical advice from friends and family. Check with your physician before making any changes to a prescribed course of treatment or therapy.

A healthy relationship with your physician will go a long way toward making you a HealthiHer.

Stephany George, MD

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