Welcome to MedForum, your made-for-patients-by-patients source for self-advocacy and medical education. We want to help patients and doctors discuss topics more effectively by providing patients with the information they need to make informed decisions about their own care. With so many changes to health care in recent years and many layers of administration getting in the way of the conversation, we want to help patients understand their role in making themselves healthier.
A Resource for Patients
Please note that we’re not here to give any specific medical advice or recommendations, which should come from a doctor or care provider; we’re only here to help patients unfamiliar with medical processes educate themselves enough to be self-advocates, to be more open about volunteering important information with medical staff, to understand concepts, and to communicate with their doctors more effectively.
The Trouble With Self-Diagnosis
Too often, patients seek treatment for illnesses or injuries when they should have stayed at home. And too often, patients stay home when they need to go get care, saying things like “it’ll pass” or “they can’t do anything for me,” with sometimes deadly consequences. We want to provide more information to health-care consumers about when they can take care of little problems. When in doubt, though, contact your doctor.
Doctors have many, many patients. Even when they’re not working long shifts or dealing with a great deal of paperwork, bedside manner and attempts at explanation sometimes suffer. Even on doctors’ best days, as a result of a great deal of education, it can be difficult to translate their common medical terms into plain English. It’s not a criticism, just fact; patients need to be able to accommodate and adapt. Part of the role of being a patient is to ensure that one understands a doctor’s instructions!
A Healthier System
When both patients and doctors communicate openly, we believe that the health-care system as a whole works more efficiently. The health-care industry can save millions when patients are able to talk frankly and from an educated place about their illnesses, symptoms, and options. Browse our site to learn more tips on how and when to talk to your doctor.