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Be wary of doctors set in their age-old habits

Ever heard of the saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks? Well, the meaning of the saying is self-explanatory. When people have been used to doing things in a particular way, they will not abandon their habits. With some coaxing, some will change their habits. But others will stand their ground, even when it’s evident that doing things differently is more valuable.

The science of medicine is always evolving. Diagnostic pathways keep changing. There are constant redefinitions of optimal treatments for various conditions. Delivery and access to healthcare has become a revolution in its own rights. So is communication between healthcare providers and patients, which is in constant evolution. In a sense, everything that happens in healthcare is never constant. Any healthcare provider with set habits is a dying breed, and such are never any good for anybody.

Well, where do you fit in all this? As a consumer of healthcare, you deserve all the modernity that comes with contemporary medical care. It’s your duty to maintain vigilance, and be acutely aware of current trends in healthcare provision. Then only accept to get your healthcare from providers who appear to be up to date with the times. Shun everyone else, unless you are willing to compromise your health outcomes.

A few examples will do. How easy is it to get an appointment to see your doctor? It should be a breeze, with online calendars and the like. But some have been resistant to simplifying the process, and still subject patients to unanswered phone calls or physical visits just to reserve an appointment. If you cannot get easy access to your doctor’s office, think again. What else isn’t easy to get to in the grand scheme of your health needs?

Be watchful of the kind of evaluation you get to arrive at a diagnosis. There must be a structured approach, spanning from a physical exam to objective testing. Some old and wizened folk will take one look at you and give you a spot diagnosis. They may be correct some of the time, but are mostly fishing in darkness most of the time. Go for healthcare providers who will keenly listen to your story, and look over you with a fine toothcomb.

Don’t accept to be subjected to antiquated diagnostics. You know the drill. A rusting stethoscope over your chest, when modern gadgets are the norm. Painful internal exams even though these have largely been replaced by rapid ultrasound imaging. Frequent commutes to the doctor’s office for routine monitoring, even though wearable medical gadgets can easily transmit all the data remotely, regardless of your location. The list goes on and on.

Some will argue that there are tried and tested old medical habits. True, but be wary of healthcare providers still stuck in archaic practices.

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