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Take Charge of Your Health!


By Michael Castleman

You're sick. Or something has been bothering you. Or it's time for your annual checkup. You make an appointment to see your doctor.

Years ago, that was it. The doctor asked some questions, examined you, ordered some tests, maybe gave you a prescription and then sent you on your way.

No longer. Today, doctors have a multitude of high-tech diagnostic tests and treatment options to draw on, and patients are bombarded with health information (some reliable, some not) everywhere they turn. Add the fact that both doctors and patients have much less of another crucial commodity: time. And it's easy to feel lost in the healthcare whirl. "I'm scheduled for fifteen minutes per patient," says Anne Simons, M.D., a family practitioner at health maintenance organization San Francisco Health Plan. "Figure a minute or two to say hello and a minute or two to wrap things up. That leaves only about ten minutes for the business portion of the visit."

To make the most of those critical minutes and all that modern healthcare has to offer, you must get organized with the questions and tactics that will make your visit worthwhile. Here are 12 ways to get your health in check before, during and after your visit to the M.D.
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Categories: Health & Wellness, Women's Health,

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