Throughout your life you will have to make health decisions for yourself and your family. The decisions you make will influence your overall well-being as well as the quality and cost of your care. People who learn as much as they can about their choices often are more confident about the decisions they make. And in general, people who work with their doctors to make health decisions are happier with the care they receive and the results they achieve.
Why should you partner with your doctor to make decisions? Aren't you paying him or her to know what to do? There are often several approaches to diagnosing and treating a health problem. And it's not always clear what choices are the best ones for you. You are more likely to feel better about the chosen approach if it is the one best suited to your needs and values. Sometimes the best choice is to say "no" to care you don't need.
The best formula for making health decisions is to combine the most reliable medical facts with your personal values. These include your beliefs, fears, lifestyle, and experiences, and they all play a role in helping you make decisions about your health.
Put more simply:
Medical Information + Your Information = Wise Health Decisions
The following are some simple steps for you to follow when you have a health decision to make. Depending on the decision, the process may take a few minutes, a few hours, or several weeks. Take as much time as you need to make the decision that is right for you.
For more information, see the topic Smart Decisions: Know Your Options.
|Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)|
|780 Echo Drive|
|Ottawa, ON K1S 5R7|
The mission of SOGC is to promote optimal women's health through leadership, collaboration, education, research, and advocacy in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology.
|Canadian Medical Association|
|1867 Alta Vista Drive|
|Ottawa, ON K1G 5W8|
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), a leadership organization for physicians, works to promote high health care standards for Canadians. The CMA provides information for patients, health professionals, and medical students on a wide range of health topics.
|College of Family Physicians Canada|
|2630 Skymark Avenue|
|Mississauga, ON L4W 5A4|
The College of Family Physicians Canada works to improve the health of Canadians. The college promotes high standards of medical education and care in family practice and helps the public better understand how to live healthfully.
|National Patient Safety Foundation|
|268 Summer Street, 6th Floor|
|Boston, MA 02210|
The National Patient Safety Foundation (U.S.) is an organization dedicated to improving the safety of patients. The foundation works to raise public awareness about patient safety and is a resource for people and organizations who are concerned about the safety of patients.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Last Revised||June 13, 2011|
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