Here’s guidance from CommonHealth blogger Carey Goldberg.Dread. That’s all I feel when I imagine asking my primary care doctor any sort of a potentially confrontational question. She’s never been anything but attentive, energetic and on-the-ball. I have no reason whatsoever to think she’d pull an “I am the great and powerful Oz!” on me.And yet, and yet…I’m scared. The reason I’m scared is that deep down inside, I believe that if she likes me, she’ll try harder to save my life or my health if they’re ever in danger. I don’t dare squander that social capital by alienating her affections with difficult questions. Let me restate: I have absolutely no historical reason to think she actually would be alienated. I suspect she’d enjoy the challenge, and the chance to speak candidly about the health care system and how it works. But still — ullp.Yet I deeply believe in this mission, to help us all become more invested in the system that gives us care, and to help us learn how to navigate it better.
So…I do solemnly pledge that the next time I go to the doctor, I will:1)Apologize profusely and then ask one question about the cost or quality of the care she recommends at my next visit. (In fact, I think I already know what it will be: “Should I really get my mammogram here at the hospital, as I usually do? Wouldn’t it me cheaper to go outside?”)
2) I will fight the fear and ask her what she thinks about the cost of health care, and how we can best keep costs down.
3) I’ll tell her about Health Care Savvy, and invite her to join.