I have been through many medical procedures in my time on this planet. I was born with a congenital heart defect, so I’ve had pre-existing conditions since I was born. I’m also an amputee. Because of this, I have had to make having good health care a priority in my life over things like buying nicer cars, taking nicer vacations, and buying various toys. Which has taught me how to find the best health care. As a result, and thanks to my parents for doing this as a kid, I have had the best doctors in the world.
First, we must define health care. Health care is provided by a doctor or a team of doctors and medical professionals. Health care is NOT health insurance. Health Insurance is what helps you pay for health care should you end up in a situation where your medical costs are going to be high.
There are three ways to pay for health care. 1) cash for services at the time they are rendered, or 2) pay for health insurance that covers all or portions of your health care, or 3) or have the government cover all or a portion of your medical costs by joining the military, working for the government, or be in a financial situation where the government steps in to help.
*I know this may sound simple, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t grasp this concept up to this point.*
Most people in the United States prefer to go with option 2, which is to pay for health insurance. This can be done either via an individual plan or a group plan. The majority of people do this through a group plan at their work. This means that you trade your time for a wage and all or a partial coverage in your health INSURANCE costs. For me, I have only worked for companies that provided great health insurance options that my care team accepts. If they don’t have that insurance option, then I don’t work there.
Note: If we all did this, then more companies would provide the best insurance to their employees as a way to attract the best employees.
To get good health care, it’s best to interview different care teams. Sure, searching on the web can help narrow down your selection, but you have to remember, even though doctors are really smart people, they still work for you since you are their customer.If you are healthy, then this more comes down to finding a doctor that you like working with and will work with you to create an annual plan to stay healthy and accomplish your health goals.
If you have specific medical conditions, then it’s best to find people that have the same conditions and get their feedback on what they have gone through and which medical teams they have used. Also, talk to your primary care physician as they will likely have a network of doctors that they know specialize in your illness or condition. Though, don’t think that just because they were recommended by your PCP that you should use them. Still interview them.
When interviewing specialists, have your goals in mind. Be very clear about your goals and desires, and DO NOT under any circumstance lie or withhold information from them. They are not there to judge you, they are there to cure you. The more information they have, the better they can advise you and care for you.If you feel that your medical team is not working with you to achieve your goals, then be clear about that to them. You have to be YOUR OWN best advocate. If after expressing this concern and nothing changes, then it’s time to find a new care team.
Remember, doctors and medical professionals are human. They do make mistakes, even if they are at the top of the charts. If you feel something is off then communicate it and trust your gut. It’s literally your life at stake.