I have four things your doctor won’t tell you. This information comes from pediatric surgeon Dr. Pamela Gallin, author of How To Survive Your Doctor’s Care.
- Just because a doctor went to a top medical school doesn’t mean he’s a top doctor. You may be impressed when you see a Harvard Medical degree hanging on the wall, but where a doctor did his residency trumps that degree. Because that’s where doctors really learn their specialty. If you have a choice when selecting a hospital, pick one that's affiliated with a medical school.
- Brand name drugs aren’t like designer shoes. When you buy designer shoes, they’re generally made better and fit better. Not so for prescriptions. The brand name doesn’t mean the drug is better – it’s usually just more expensive. Generic medications can work just as well and cost a lot less. If you see an ad on TV and ask your doctor for that drug, 40% of the time he’ll give it to you, without taking the time to go over other, possibly cheaper, options.
- Cheapskate health insurance companies often give doctors bonuses when they watch their budget. That means they may not recommend pricey drugs or tests – or deny them when they’re needed. If your doctor tells you you don’t need a test without an explanation, get a second opinion.
- Take control of your medical records. If you’re changing doctors, make sure you get a copy of all medical records. If you don't want to tell your doctor you’re changing physicians, just say you want the copies for your own records. By law, it is your legal right to get copies of your medical records. So don't take no for an answer.