What do you do when you plan to buy a mobile phone?
Check various features of the phone based on your requirements? Check available alternatives? Check the pricing on multiple websites to be sure that you get the best deal possible? Check the reviews? Maybe go to a store and take a look of the demo piece?
When we are so vigilant while planning to buy a tangible unit which we probably intend to use for two or maybe three years, why can’t we be equally vigilant when it comes to something which we intend to utilize for the rest of our lives? Why can’t our medical problems and health get equal priority, attention, research, and know-how?
Let’s start by asking ourselves a few questions which would tell us how aware are we when it comes to our medical problems…
How many times did you visit a doctor and came out knowing the exact diagnosis of the problem along with the right treatment option?
How many times do you ask the doctor why a particular treatment would be best suited for you?
How many times do you wonder if there is a better alternative treatment for your medical problem?
How many times you get to know the long term implication of the treatment OR the long term remedy of your problem?
Probably, we don’t bother much to think about the above questions when it comes to any medical problem for which we visit a doctor. Result? It could lead to a situation where your problem is big enough for you to give it your utmost priority, bear unnecessary pain and trauma and get into a fire fighting mode because possibly you did not care to give these questions deserved importance.
Most often than not, in our day to day medical consultations, we end up believing on one opinion and treatment option without even being sure if the right problem is diagnosed or not and if the offered treatment would benefit you. Probably, we are not expected to know the technical details of the medical problem, but we most certainly need to know the reason why a treatment option would be better than the others available, what the pro cons of all available options are and what is the root cause of your problem?
Being well informed is very crucial because you can never be sure about the treatment you would be undergoing unless you know it has the maximum chance of working for you. It does not mean that all opinions are wrong or all opinions need a validation by a second or a third opinion. It simply means that there could be an option available outside the explored boundaries which could probably do a better justice to you than the others. Yes, there is a chance of getting hold of that option right in the first attempt but at the same time the odds are equally probable or may be a bit more in current scenarios. Don’t get yourself trapped into a situation when you have multiple opinions, not knowing the right one for you or not having an opinion at all.
Healthcare is one of the fastest evolving and emerging segments and every day there is a breakthrough which makes the possibility of cure better than the previous day. We need to know where is that breakthrough happening and how it can benefit you better than the currently available options. Deriving hope to your complex medical problem is only possible if you know that there exists an alternative which we have not yet explored.
For an instance, we know that Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are most common neurodegenerative diseases and possibly there is no cure for the two even till date. The only thing medical science could do is to reduce the agony of the patient by medication and therapies. However, a breakthrough research published on biomarkers (a measurable indicator of a biological condition) states that a group of proteins in the spinal fluid could help to identify the disease in the very first stage and controlling it could be a possibility using the advanced drugs that failed in more advanced patients. This is not expected to be known to a common man and even day to day practitioners. There are so many such critical breakthroughs coming to light every day for problems ranging from Cancer, Jacobson’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, to Asthma, HIV, and diabetes. The list is endless. All we need are the ways and means to know the best available options.
Collective opinions are therefore preferred because the chances of arriving at or even exploring multiple options from multiple perspectives are better. Throwing light on the right problem and its corresponding right solution is very critical because you possibly don’t want to take chances on your health.
When these collective opinions are clubbed with the breakthrough research findings and medical advancements, it possibly becomes your strongest weapon to fight for your health and significantly increases the chances of your winning the battle. This tells you a very simple and most powerful concept of collective wisdom which has worked wonders for some people and has changed their entire perspective of looking at a critical illness.
The most valuable asset and best available resource to a human being are his health, the rest can just be tackled if you preserve this asset well and manage this resource efficiently.
Be well informed!